H.O.M.E. is a special place for our family, and is so for reasons both unique and universal. In my 20s I was looking for somewhere to donate all my furniture when I moved. I don’t remember how I found H.O.M.E., but all of it went to the residents. Although I have given nominal and increasing amounts every year since then, I really knew little about H.O.M.E. until I finally visited.
Now, I know so much more about the lovely community that is H.O.M.E. We have stepped up our giving after I was invited, by Gail Schechter (H.O.M.E.’s Executive Director), to come visit the Nathalie Salmon House, which is located in Rogers Park. After I was greeted by Gail and Nikki Moustafa (Housing Director), I spent some time with several of the residents and received a tour. The warmness and hospitality of everyone there demonstrated that this model is working. The residents were friendly and let me into their rooms, and I was able to meet the chef, an individual who needs to be very creative, as the quantities and varieties of food vary from week to week, depending on what they are able to afford and what is donated.
The multi-generational living arrangement is, I believe, a more common concept in France, but is rather unique here. What a wonderful idea, to create communities that not only help seniors with providing food and rent, but also contribute to their quality of life. In addition, I was impressed that H.O.M.E. also provides for different living requirements, such as those who require extra support. Were I older and in need of financial, transportation, and housing aid, the Nathalie Salmon House is exactly where I would want to live.
In our current bizarre Coronavirus lives, seniors are particularly vulnerable, and so our whole family is getting involved to help ensure that the seniors are fed without risk and able to continue to remain in contact with their loved ones and with the outside world.. We hope to continue with H.O.M.E. to maintain a high standard of living for lower income seniors. Our kids are writing letters to some of the residents, and hopefully will become good old-fashioned pen pals. We’re bringing food directly to the Nathalie Salmon House and are donating Chromebooks to the residents. We intend to continue to contribute to this community which helps seniors thrive.