Originally from Canada, Holly is a Portland cat-lover living in Multnomah Village. She’s in her mid-60s and has struggled with loneliness since her husband passed away twelve years ago. For over fifteen years, Holly has found community, support, and joy through her connection with Neighborhood House. When the pandemic forced the Senior Center to close and the grocery shuttle to stop running, Holly faced losing the stability and social connection she’d built. She had been a regular on the grocery shuttle, using the free service to make weekly trips out to the store. In addition to being a “breath of fresh air,” Holly looked forward to her weekly rides because of her friendships with the other regular riders and their weekly chance to check in on each other.
Thankfully, the Senior Transportation team mobilized to support Holly and the other members of the Neighborhood House community. Individual volunteers would take Holly to the store, which meant she could safely get groceries without paying for transportation, and she could still get the “breath of fresh air” – a trip out of the house. She made friends with all of the volunteer drivers and appreciated that Marie, the Senior Transportation Coordinator, was “easy to reach, pleasant, and kind.” While Holly “can’t wait” for the Senior Center to reopen and passes by it on her daily walk, she is thankful for the adapted support Neighborhood House provided during the uncertainty of the pandemic, and the chance it gave her to maintain social connections. Our seniors are the most vulnerable to isolation and immobility, especially in the face of the ongoing threat of the pandemic. Neighborhood House is committed to providing innovative, adaptive services for seniors so that they can continue to flourish, no matter the challenges. Will you support this work by donating to Senior Week?