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Housing Bureau For Seniors

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Community Resource Directory SeniOT CitizefVS 101 0 Wall Street AnnArbor,MI48109 763-0970 Statement of Purpose The Housing Bureau for Seniors provides peer counseling to senior citizens and their families about housing choices in Washtenaw County. Volunteers recruited from across the county to work as housing counselors, or in one of the Bureau's Outreach projects. Community Services Housing counselors meet individually with senior clients or their families to facilítate housing related decisions. The Bureau maintains up-todate information about senior residences, retirement homes or subsidized housing and can help seniors through the often confusing application process. Because many subsidized residences have long waiting Nsts, the Bureau must sometimes assist with intermedíate housing alternatives: apartments suitable for a senior"s needs, n-home care that is affordable, perhaps a "homeshare" partner to come to stay. Homesharing is a special service of the Housing Bureau. Homesharing is the sharing of a home that allows some private space, usually a bedroom, and some shared space (the kitchen, a sitting room, and so on). Housing counselors agree that it takes more skill to make a good Homeshare arrangement than it does to make a marriage! Housing Bureau counselors meet to screen potential homeshare seekers and providers. The counselors meet regulariy with each other several times a month to help put their clients together in Homeshare matches that will work. Prospective Homesharers are introduced, and extensive arrangements are agreed upon. In less than three years, the Housing Bureau has assisted neariy 1200 seniors; 44 of them have been matched for a Homeshare arrangement. Housing Bureau Outreach projects have begun to assist seniors in their own communities all across the county. Workshops have been offered to seniors, their adult children and to service-providers for the elderly. The workshops help get housing-related information out into the community. Housing counselors are now established at several senior centers across the county. These counselors are trained by the Housing Bureau along with other housing counselors. Training includes familiarization with local housing resources, an overview of interviewing and listening skills, and on-site tours of senior (continued on next page) Housinq Bureau for Seniors housing. Accurate and up-to-date nformation is essential to the Housing Bureau's work. The Bureau maintains extensive listings of local retirement homes, subbsidized housing, apartments, mobile homes, condominiums.cooperatives and foster care. The Bureau has just completed a compilation of this material in a guide to senior housing in Washtenaw County. A second project, a slide show of local senior housing choices is scheduled forthis spring. Volunteers are at the heart of the Bureau. Every project is designed and carried out predomina ntly by volunteers. Media volunteers work on each project as tasks present themselves. For the upcoming slide show, we will need a variety of skills: photography, set or properties design, casting, script writing, even acting or narrating. If you are interested in a related project, contact the Housing Options Project of the Bureau, and ask for Sheila. Twice yearly, the Bureau holds volunteer training sessions for housing counselors. Recruitment begins in mid-April for the May training. If you are interested in becoming a housing counselor, contact Carole Lapidos, volunteer coördinator for the Bureau. The Housing Bureau for Seniors is affiliated with Turner Geriatrie Services of the U-M Hospitals. Carolyn Hastings is Executive Director.