Supporting Our Tenants
The leaves are changing, soon to give us a spectacular show before we hunker down to hide from the potentially negative things we seem to be sharing with each other, nasty viruses and our fear of harming each other. At SHOW during the lockdown, much of which is still in effect, we had to reach deep into our creativity to respond to tenants’ loneliness and isolation. Outreach workers and others on whom we relied for tenant supports all but disappeared, volunteers and students were sent home and the effect on some of our tenants was immediate. It was a hard time for those who had no family or community with which to connect, agility and extra dollops of compassion were required in equal parts to manage our response. Our thanks to those of you who sent in pizza dinners, dropped off groceries for tenants, sent in baked goods, cards and letters to tenants, you made all the difference and our tenants and staff are so very grateful for your thoughtfulness.
The Health Resources Coordinator role came into being because of our experience with this pandemic. It wasn’t complex, people need physical activity and the only space in which to make it happen, is outside, so we run tai chi and yoga in outdoor spaces in Waterloo, mostly for isolated seniors but classes are attracting lots of folks. People also need someone who can direct them to health supports, someone to help navigate a world that relies more on technology than ever, and a world marginalized folks who may not be computer literate, can navigate. SHOW identified what was lost for our tenants and so many others during the pandemic, and is creating avenues through which we might meet some of those needs. We are working on a technology platform that will allow us to do check- ins with tenants in other buildings, who might be feeling isolated. To address this area of need, to ensure all of our tenants have a level of comfort with technology and can communicate using it, is our goal. Supporting our tenants to reintegrate into the larger community is imperative at these times or they will become even more marginalized.
SHOW knows in this new reality the way our tenants receive supports, access services or connect to a community is changing rapidly, and we with it.