Nonprofits Provide Safe, Affordable And Accessible Rental Housing For Disabled
A team of Charitable Words Scholars are working to raise awareness of the important work being done by The Housing Network of Hamilton County and Partnerships for Housing. The nonprofits provide safe, affordable and accessible rental housing for people with developmental disabilities. Project manager Brittany York and Scholars Tyler Mechlem (Cincinnati State), John Froio (Xavier University), Trace Walker (Xavier) and Mathew Layton (University of Cincinnati) are building websites, creating new logos and marketing materials and developing communications and social media strategies. Here is Trace’s report about the work being done:
By Trace Walker
No one knows how to best care for Shawn and Dusty, both of whom are autistic and require a great deal of assistance, better than their caregiver, Phyllis — a loving mother and grandmother who has worked with the pair for the past 20 years.
Shawn and Dusty made a life-changing transition upon moving into their new home a few months ago, which was acquired and is managed by the Housing Network of Hamilton County. According to Phyllis, the move is the greatest thing to ever happen to the two and can most fittingly be described as “a blessing from God.”
Shawn and Dusty’s old home is one Phyllis describes as being “unsuited for nurturing a safe and caring living environment.” She remembers nights where she would awaken to hear sounds of “pop-pop” and “bang-bang,” as gunfire could be heard on the streets nearby. Shawn and Dusty would often have outbursts, she says, which resulted from the amount of noise brought upon by the neighborhood.
On top of constant worry regarding the safety of Shawn, Dusty, and herself, Phyllis also had concerns regarding the safety of the property itself. Nightly, she was forced to chain the patio furniture in an effort to prevent theft.
After moving into their new North College Hill home, however, Shawn and Dusty are living what Phyllis refers to, plain and simply, as “the life.” They are able to spend time outside without having to worry about traffic and violence; the only people they encounter during day-to-day activities are friendly neighbors — perhaps an elderly couple walking their dog — and the home is quiet, which has led to fewer distractions and outbursts.
Shawn and Dusty have acquired a newfound sense of belonging and independence, as they were forced to share their former home with two other housemates. According to Phyllis, the move has positively affected their lives on all accounts. Dusty and Shawn can now feel safe and at peace in their home, and for that, Phyllis is eternally grateful.
- Jim Steffey, Executive Director for both the Housing Network of Hamilton County and Partnerships for Housing (which serves Butler County) said this about our partnership:
“Before working with Charitable Words, we didn’t have a functional website or any social media presence. We weren’t able to effectively reach people who need our services.
“Through Charitable Words, we are able to work with student interns who are working in the areas of graphic design, marketing, website design and journalism to access skills we don’t have internally at our organization. This is allowing us to create a means to effectively reach people who need our services, as well as share stories about our successes.”
Thank you for those comments, Jim. And thank you for all you do to serve those in need in your community.
This entry was posted on Sunday, June 19th, 2016 at 4:41 pm
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