Winter is coming. Whispers of El Nino are circulating. And so are murmurs of two-year-long waitlists for affordable housing and testimonies that the number of those without shelter is growing, fast. Cue the Housing Clinic, one of the ways St. Mary’s Center addresses these realities.
I attended my first Housing Clinic in October. The Housing Clinic helps seniors find and apply for housing. St. Mary’s Center Social Worker Meg and Jesuit Volunteer Moriah kicked off the session with a check in. During this time, everyone took a moment to say hi, to see each other, and reflect on the day, the week, or whatever was on the mind or in the body.
During the remaining portion of the hour staff, interns, and volunteers supported clients as they filled out housing applications, followed up on open applications via phone or email, and exchanged research and knowledge about housing opportunities.
Despite the weight of this task and the frustration in the air, we were united by the common purpose - to find housing. So, folks gathered to share knowledge, to celebrate the victories (big and little), to provide encouragement and to keep on, keepin’ on, because as one senior said it, “we will all find housing when it is our time.”
While this day-to-day effort continues, the Senior Advocates for Hope and Justice are collaborating with other dynamic, local organizations to fight policies hindering access to housing and to inform new policies imagining a more just, equitable society where everyone has a place.
Learn more about our Housing Clinic in our 2015 Annual Report available here.