SHOWing the Way Home for Seniors: An Update from Gael Gilbert
144 Erb St. East, purchased just a few short months ago, has been a veritable beehive of activity, not only for our staff, but for the board as well. This building was made possible by the quick actions of Mike Maxwell, who secured the apartments for SHOW so that they could be maintained as affordable housing for seniors, and in late July the keys were given to us.
Tenants were delighted that SHOW was committed to their continued housing security and stability, the board most enthusiastic about meeting this group and together we launched a new era in housing our most vulnerable.
Funding through the Canada Community Foundation has enabled SHOW to employ a Health Resources Coordinator who has designed outdoor classes not only for our tenants but anyone in the community feeling isolated. Watching yoga on the patio of 144, Tai Chi in the parking lot of 362, dance classes in a green space, referrals to health professionals, counseling and home care have all happened within the past two months. A tenant council has been created and plans are in the works to provide ongoing programming and support opportunities for those in need.
Isolation particularly through these very difficult times, can contribute to poor mental health, and we work diligently to maintain contact with all of our tenants through one to one check ins, phone calls, emails, activities and more. In assessing what might make our tenants’ lives less lonely, we are designing a virtual system in partnership with tech expertise on our board and we look forward to unveiling this exciting initiative in the coming months.
Watching board members install new kitchens, move furniture, come by and sit with tenants to learn who they are, take pictures, join activities with tenants has been nothing short of inspirational. SHOW and our entire community is blessed to have such a wonderful group of directors whose commitment to affordable housing is magnificent.