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THE NEED IS GREAT. OUR COMMUNITY IS GREATER. 2019 Annual Report

We chose our annual report theme to be “The need is great. Our community is greater”. Last year was a year of building and growing to serve older adults and people with disabilities.

This year in 2020, all of us are facing challenges none of us could have expected in 2019. The coronavirus has changed almost every facet of how we live and work, here and across the US.

For Homage that meant significantly more vulnerable older adults and people with disabilities needing to stay at home with limited food and necessities, limited access to services, isolated, in fear for their safety, and not knowing when it will end.

For staff it meant modifying practices and incorporating personal protection equipment for those essential services requiring in person interaction with clients. For other staff it meant major adjustments to work effectively from home. We are proud to say Homage is a can do organization and our team are can do people.

The need started to surpass our resources to help. And then, our community steps up filled with can do people and businesses.

Ed and Sally's Story

Ed and his wife Sally have lived in the same home since they were married 38 years ago. Now in their 70’s, and with their adult children living out of state, they find themselves without much social support. After Sally suffered a stroke, weekly trips to the grocery store and cooking became increasingly difficult for the couple. That’s when Ed heard about Meals on Wheels.

“We signed up right away. Now we don’t have to worry about how we’ll get our next meal. It’s delivered straight to the door!”

Meals on Wheels is more than a meal - it’s also caring and compassionate help to those in need. Meals on Wheels drivers have regular routes and get to know the participants. Drivers are often the only personal contact these folks have during the week. The drivers are trained to check on their well-being and connect them with other services as needed.

“We look forward to our Wednesday delivery. Our driver always asks how we are doing and you know he really cares. He even helped us get our porch fixed,” said Sally. During a meal delivery in February, the couple's Meals on Wheels delivery driver noticed that the front porch steps were rotted and could not bear weight. He notified Sally and Ed’s nutrition assessor who submitted an internal referral to the Minor Home Repair team for a low-cost and quick repair.

Deirdre's Story

Deirdre was 67 when she was involved in a serious car accident that left her permanently disabled. After her recovery, she found that she would not be able to get behind the wheel of a car again. As someone who always valued her independence, this was a devastating blow. Living in rural Snohomish County, public transportation is not easily accessible and Deirdre found herself feeling anxious and alone.

That’s when her friend told her about the Transportation Assistance Program (TAP). With TAP, Deidre is able to be mobile again. She can now visit friends and run errands with ease. She has regained her independence and has even made new friends with her fellow riders.

“With the door-to-door service, I never have to worry about being stuck somewhere and everyone is so kind. I know I can always count on TAP.”

Rhonda's Story

A few years ago Rhonda took in her newborn grandson. At 63-years-old, Rhonda was single, retired, and ready to begin her golden years. But then she found out her special needs grandson was being removed from his mother’s home and faced foster care. Rhonda wasn’t sure how she could manage caring for a special needs infant, but she also knew she had no choice but to take in her grandson. Shortly after, Rhonda found Homage and got connected with the Kinship Caregiver program.

At first, Kinship helped Rhonda with her most urgent need: building the confidence and skills to care for an infant with special needs. Reaching out to Homage for support was a big step for Rhonda but everything changed after that. Homage helped provide Rhonda with clothing for her grandson, food for her pantry, and even covered one month’s rent when times were really tough. She is now able to provide a stable home environment for her grandson where he can grow and thrive.

Recently, Rhonda was able to formally adopt her grandson. She feels confident that she’s doing what’s best for her family and looks forward to watching her grandson grow.

“I felt overwhelmed and so alone. Now I have access to folks who will truly listen and offer help. I’ve found a community and I know that I can provide my grandson with everything he needs.”

David's Story

David lives in a late-1970s mobile home. After his roommate passed away, he started to struggle financially and emotionally. Soon he began taking on debt to cover his basic living expenses. When his sewer line started backing up into his shower he didn’t know where to turn. He saw a Minor Home Repair van at his neighbor’s house and took a chance and called Homage.

The Minor Home Repair team came the very next day. They restored the sewage line and David was able to shower in a safe environment once again. David was also connected with the Older Adult Access phone line so he could talk confidentially to a qualified professional about the grief he was feeling over his friend’s passing.

Later that year, his furnace went out. David had no heat in the middle of December - but he knew who to call. During the visit to replace the furnace, the Minor Home Repair team discovered David's circuit breaker was in dire need of repair. After bringing in an electrician to get the circuit breaker up to code, David's furnace was safely installed.

Now, David can continue to live in his own home. He says he feels safer knowing his friends in Minor Home Repair are always one phone call away.

Wayne's Story

Wayne was referred to our Care Coordination program following a hospital stay. The Care Coordination program is designed to help vulnerable older adults navigate the challenges that often accompany a hospital stay and ultimately reduce readmission. At 76, this veteran was doing all he could to stay positive despite being unsure what his future held. Wayne’s wife worked full time to support their family and there were many concerns about Wayne’s ability to manage his care at home.

Wayne was paired with a social worker who helped her get connected to resources such as Meals on Wheels and DART transportation, facilitate conversations with care providers, and offer non-judgemental support. Wayne wasn’t accustomed to asking for help but he did acknowledge feeling isolated and welcomed a referral to our Mental Health Access program.

A licensed mental health professional guided Wayne through the Geriatric Depression Screening tool and, together, they determined she would benefit from short term counseling. During these in-home counseling sessions, Wayne disclosed that he was very concerned about the emotional toll that caregiving was taking on his wife. The counselor was able to talk to Wayne about programs such as Family Caregiver Supports, as well as talk to Wayne about resources, such as the Care Crisis line, that he could utilize if he felt his wife was in danger.

An integral part of our short term depression program is facilitating communication with the doctor. After receiving Wayne’s depression screening score, his doctor at the VA offered to connect him with longer term counseling support through the VA. Wayne was able to access transportation to these appointments through the services that Care Coordination had provided. Today, Wayne is continuing to work on her personal wellness and feels stronger than ever.

Thank you to our donors

The need is great, but our community is greater. Changing lives starts with you. Every gift and donation of time supports Homage's mission to serve and protect vulnerable populations in Snohomish County.

Thank you to our volunteers

In 2019, 596 committed volunteers packed and delivered nutritious meals, conducted minor home repairs, visited with homebound older adults, answered phone calls, and so much more. We welcome volunteers of all ages, skills, and experience.

Your financial support ensures that our most vulnerable neighbors can receive the critical services and support they need. Please consider making a secure online gift using the link below.