PROVIDING HOPE, PURPOSE AND DIGNITY TO VULNERABLE SENIORS AND VETERANS
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In this episode, we learn about…
- How Jenny and her brother got their start helping people in low-income housing and the challenges that they had to face
- Out of 85 residents, not one person could tell Jenny about a man that passed away in the building she was managing
- Jenny’s upbringing and what prepared her to do what she’s doing today
- Jenny’s dad taught her that people are lonely and that elderly people need visitors. Now she is doing that through Wholeway House.
- What it’s like working and living in Canada’s poorest postal code: The Vancouver Downtown Eastside
- Hastings and Main
- The perils of Check Day
- The impact of creating community and ending isolation
- Reconnect, Rebuild and Re-center.
- “Coffee Mike”
- I GET TO
- How “I GET TO” got its start
- How Wholeway House is helping to end the cycle of homelessness
QUOTES from Jenny (paraphrased)
- I often use the word “chaos” when I describe the Vancouver Downtown Eastside. A lot of people describe it as out of control and it is out-of-control
- To me, the most important part was sitting down and having a meal together
- Everyone has something to contribute. They wanted to give. They didn’t just always want to have a handout. We start programs where they can get a hand up and contribute
- I learned that it was really about small transformations and how could we impact people‘s lives?
- “I get to do those things because I’m still alive.” ~ Ron Konkin
- I start every morning with the practice of asking “what do I get to do today?”
- People are getting the tools that they need through our programs and they are not falling back into homelessness
- I did not realize how many seniors are facing homelessness
- Imagine your grandparent living in the chaos of the Vancouver Downtown Eastside. We found out that seniors were being targeted on pension day outside the bank. So we got a van and now we take people to the bank and to be safer
- When people don’t go outside at all we see the deterioration in their mental health. So we have various adult programs to address their health needs
- Over 90% of our seniors that are homeless are first time homeless. It’s a growing problem
- Every person has a story. People’s behavior comes from somewhere
- No matter how much we grow our organization we want to keep the main thing the main thing and that’s loving people where they’re at.
- We were built to serve, and we don’t use that, it can wear away at us.
- First Challenge: Ask yourself, “What do I get to do today and who do I get to impact?”
- Second Challenge: Find something that you’re passionate about and volunteer
Get In Touch With Jenny