Elders Living at Home Program
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An ELAHP case manager went out to meet them in the condemned house where they were living
“Sometimes things happen for the better,” Sarah says, reflecting on the turmoil that altered her and her husband’s lives over the last few years. In spite of the adversities that she has faced, Sarah continues to share her contagious smile and upbeat personality.
Less than ten years ago, she and her husband Stan owned two houses; one was completely paid off and the other had a small mortgage. For decades Stan had been a contractor; Sarah had worked many jobs, most recently transporting disabled people. They had raised eight children in Boston and by all standards were a solid middle class family, doing well. But then two events completely changed their lives forever.
First, because of a very complicated case of bank fraud, they lost both of their houses and were evicted by the sheriff. Second, Stan suffered a stroke. They tried to mount the legal battle to get their houses back but their funds ran out and they could no longer afford the lawyers. They also had no money left for a place to live. For a short time, one of their daughters was able to take them in but her place was too small and the landlord wouldn’t allow Sarah and Stan to stay. They couldn’t go to a shelter, because they would have to be separated, which Sarah wouldn’t do because Stan was still suffering the deficits from his stroke. With nowhere else to go, they moved into a condemned house with no electricity and no running water.
Looking for help, they went to the Department of Transitional Assistance. The DTA referred them to ELAHP. An ELAHP case manager went out to meet them in the condemned house where they were living and immediately began working on finding them a safe place to live.
“They helped us a great deal,” Sarah says. “They gave us a case worker, helped us get a place to live.” ELAHP was able to put Sarah and Stan in a temporary apartment in Jamaica Plain and then later move them into a larger, permanent place. “They’re still helping us.” Speaking about their case manager, Sarah says, “Juanita is great! She is always finding out how we’re doing. She remembers things like our doctor’s appointments even when we don’t. She helps us get food, she knows what we like and she brings it to us. I find these people at ELAHP are very helpful, caring and dedicated people.”