Sheila finds hope

Nearly two decades ago, Project Renewal helped Sheila overcome long-term substance use disorder and move out of shelter and into our Geffner House supportive housing residence, where she has lived stably ever since. However, two years ago, our staff noticed that Sheila, now in her sixties, was becoming increasingly isolated due to physical health concerns.

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That’s when we enrolled Sheila in Helping Older People Engage (HOPE) – our innovative occupational therapy-based program that helps seniors age with independence and dignity. Through HOPE, our occupational therapists implement a wide range of interventions to support residents, including escorts to medical appointments, home modifications, group sessions, and community outings.

For Sheila, the program has been transformational. HOPE staff installed grab bars in her apartment to help her with mobility and connected her with nutrition services. Most significantly, Sheila is engaged with her community again, participating in group activities like music and chair yoga.

Sheila says, “HOPE really brings people together. It has given me things to look forward to and made me appreciate life more.”

HOPE was established in 2017 and is partially funded by a generous grant from the Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation.