Older Americans face challenges on many fronts, at the top of the list is affordable housing. On a daily basis SHAG encounters the struggles residents have to stay in their homes and continue to live vibrant, independent lives. To help them with this goal, SHAG instituted the SHAG Foundation and employs a dedicated staff to support residents needing help with basic day-to-day needs: wellness, transportation, nutrition and coordinating their health care needs. This is a departure from most affordable housing providers, but one SHAG knew was essential to its mission.
“We began the Foundation with the intent to help our residents age in place with dignity and respect at SHAG. Our mission is to empower residents experiencing barriers by connecting them to community resources and building support that foster independence and sustain their living. I am proud to say our mission is succeeding with stories of success across all our communities.” said Jay Woolford, SHAG Executive Director
In 2012, SHAG created the Foundation to focus on supporting residents’ independence in their SHAG communities. Within the Foundation, Resident Service Coordinators (RSCs) facilitate solutions by assisting residents in identifying community resources that promote and sustain their independence.
“For many residents, RSCs are the conduit between themselves and the community at large in terms of understanding and accessing programs and services for them. Also, they serve as advocate for residents helping them navigate the many challenges of life,” said Ruben Rivera-Jackman, director of resident services for SHAG.
SHAG’s RSCs work with residents and their social support networks, case workers, volunteers, community groups, and Community Managers to identify solutions and connect residents to needed supports and services. This also includes educating and empowering residents to navigate health and human services systems as well as others.
RSCs assist with:
- Financial assistance
- Healthcare options
- Nutrition and food insecurity
- Transportation options
- Veteran benefits and services
- Welcoming new residents
- Link to community health and human services
- Provide information about and referrals for community resources
- Facilitate conflict resolution
- Assist with the completion of SHAG and non-SHAG paperwork
- Advocate for affordable housing
- Facilitate questions and support regarding lease agreements
SHAG partners with many organizations and companies to make life better for residents. These include The Hoarding Project, NW Furniture Bank, Verdant Health Commission, UW School of Pharmacy, UW School of Nursing, T-Mobile, Sound Generations, Full Life Care and). Veterans Administration Supportive Housing (VASH).