Thursday June 28, 2012
HomeShare Vermont, of South Burlington, has been matching people to live together since 1982. This year they celebrate their 30th year of serving seniors and others by matching them with a homesharer who moves in to provide assistance in exchange for affordable housing.
Homesharing is for anyone who has an extra room to share. Although the program is targeted to seniors, there are no age or disability requirements. Some home owners decide to share their home just for a little extra income from rent. Others are interested in the companionship of a housemate and prefer to have HomeShare do the vetting. People looking for housing are screened with in-depth interviews, reference checks, and six background checks before they may be introduced to a home owner. HomeShare Vermont’s matching and screening processes are very labor-intensive, and these services are made possible in large part through the work of dedicated Staff Volunteers, such as South Burlington resident Jane Goodman.
Jane is one of thirteen Staff Volunteers serving HomeShare Vermont. Having worked as a teacher for many years, Jane was drawn to HomeShare Vermont as a way to continue to direct her time and energy into providing important services. For the past three years, Jane has given 5 – 10 hours a week assisting with screening and matching people to live together. She is involved in all steps of the homesharing process, including interviewing potential homeshare candidates, completing references, introducing potential homesharers, checking in regularly, and making home visits.
Jane loves that her volunteer work affords her the opportunity to meet so many new people, and to learn their stories. But the most rewarding aspect of her work as a volunteer is the pleasure of making a good match, and “seeing two people making each other happy who wouldn’t have otherwise met.” Jane also derives a lot of pleasure from the friendship and collegiality with her colleagues at HomeShare. She believes it is a testament to HomeShare Vermont and the people it attracts that such a diverse group of individuals could work together so well, and form such close relationships.
If you are considering homesharing, short informational sessions at HomeShare Vermont offer a way to learn about the services provided. Join them Wednesday, July 18 at 412 Farrell St, South Burlington at noon or 5:30 pm. Please RSVP at (802) 863-5625 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Or simply call their office to learn more and find out if homesharing is right for you.
SOURCE: HomeShare Vermont