Our resident success stories illustrate the ways that CLF helps those in need of support and services.
“Mary” in Kirkland Had Mounting Medical Costs
“Mary” is a 78-year-old resident of Woodlands at Forbes Lake. When she came to Woodlands in 2007, she was working and could easily afford her rent. Health issues forced Mary to retire in 2014 and she began to depend on savings to pay her bills. Mary’s health continued to worsen, and she had 91 doctor visits in 2019 alone. Her savings had been depleted.
A resident services coordinator stepped in to help Mary with access to food and solutions for her medical costs. The coordinator also helped Mary secure temporary rental assistance until she could move to alternative housing.
Today, Mary is able to handle her food and medical expenses and looks forward to moving forward with her life.
“Katherine” in Bellingham Couldn’t Access a VA Benefit
“Katherine,” a new resident of Woodrose, was supposed to receive death benefits after her husband, a veteran, died. But nothing arrived. The Veterans Administration’s (VA) response to Katherine’s inquiries was that “the check is in the mail.” While waiting for her benefits, Katherine was able to receive financial help from a daughter. But that daughter’s precarious health finally led to renal failure and hospitalization.
With a resident services coordinator’s help, Katherine was able to learn from the VA that necessary paperwork for the death benefit had been sent to the wrong address. The coordinator was able to work with the VA to have the paperwork processed and the money owed to Katherine directly deposited into her checking account. In the end, Katherine was able to receive what was due to her and her daughter was able to recover from her medical issues.
“Margery” in Lakewood Arrives Without Furniture or Food
“Margery,” a resident of Lakewood, had just moved in when the resident services coordinator arrived to help with several needs she had. One thing that concerned the coordinator was that Margery didn’t have a bed. She had only a couch and a chair where she slept each night. Another concern was whether Margery had access to a secure food supply and whether her medical needs were being met.
With the coordinator’s help, Margery was able to sign up for food benefits and start a Medicare savings program. Soon, she had an appointment with a furniture supplier to get a bed and other items she desperately needed. Today, Margery is sleeping in a nice warm bed without worrying about food or medical care. She is thriving and knows that if she needs help, the resident services coordinator will make sure she gets it.
“Ken and Margaret” in Auburn Needed Food and Financial Assistance
When “Ken” and “Margaret” moved to Auburn Court in 2015, Ken was working at a grocery store. His part-time job ended when the COVID crisis began. The couple began counting on savings to help pay their bills. They had chosen Auburn Court because it was close to family members and healthcare providers. But soon they found that their one-bedroom apartment wasn’t big enough for them. They were hoping to move into a two-bedroom unit but were concerned about the cost.
Their resident services coordinator stepped in to help them create a monthly budget that would address their financial concerns. The coordinator also referred them to the Auburn Food Bank and the South King County Multi-Service Center’s financial assistance program. The food bank was able to pledge $350 toward their deposit for a two-bedroom apartment and the South King County assistance program is now helping them with other financial concerns. Ken and Margaret are grateful for the assistance. They feel they’re now on the right track with their finances and are hopeful Ken can go back to work soon.
“Arnie” in Lynnwood Was in Crisis
Arnie is a well-known member of the Lynnwood community where he has lived for a long time. Recently, while in the community room, a resident services coordinator (RSC) overheard a conversation in which Arnie’s neighbors were talking about his odd behavior. They were saying that he would sometimes cry in the mailroom and his apartment door was often left open. One resident described being on the elevator with Arnie when he became confused about what floor he lived on.
The RSC knew he needed to see for himself how Arnie was doing. He called and they agreed on a time to meet. But a half-hour after the appointed time, Arnie still hadn’t arrived. When the RSC called him again, a very emotional Arnie answered the phone. He said that he could not find his office and had lost the phone number. The RSC asked if Arnie wanted him to come to him and he said he did.
The RSC became very concerned when he arrived at Arnie’s apartment. The door was standing open and he could see the disarray inside. As he entered the apartment, Arnie approached him with tears in his eyes to say he had loaned his car to his son and that it had been stolen. He said he had no way to get around and that he had run out of his medications weeks ago. Arnie’s prescriptions were for mental health stability, blood pressure and other medical needs. Because his mental health was deteriorating, he was scared.
The RSC immediately called Arnie’s doctor who set up an emergency prescription order for Arnie’s medications at the local Fred Meyer pharmacy. The RSC accompanied Arnie on the community shuttle to pick up the medicine so that he could resume taking the medications immediately. Meanwhile, Arnie’s doctor set up a delivery plan for all future medications to be delivered to Arnie so that he wouldn’t need to go to the pharmacy anymore.
The RSC had learned that in addition to running out of medications, Arnie had also run out of food and was late on his rent. He helped him buy groceries while they were at the Fred Meyer and when they got back to the apartment, Arnie decided on his own to take his rent check to the property manager’s office.
Once back on his medications, Arnie recovered but the RSC still makes daily phone calls to check on him. Each time, he seems to be back to his old self and doing well.
“Howard” in Kent Couldn’t Ask for Help
Howard, a military veteran, is a double amputee who is reluctant to ask for help no matter how much he may need it. Over time, Howard was having trouble keeping his apartment clean. He refused, however, to allow anyone to enter unless a 48-hour notice had been issued for the visit.
Inevitably, when management visited, Howard was issued a 10-day notice for unsanitary conditions. The resident services coordinator (RSC) knew she had to help Howard or he would be evicted. She contacted someone she knew at the Veterans Administration for assistance and was directed to a county veteran’s group that arranged for a cleaner to come to Howard’s on a regular basis. With the apartment being taken care of, the threat of eviction was removed. The RSC was also able to connect Howard with a VA social worker and he is now receiving counseling support as well as in-home care.
“Dolores” in Kent Gets Her Final Wish
Dolores was suffering from kidney failure and needed help so her son moved in to become a full-time caregiver. When the COVID crisis hit, however, the son did not receive his caretaker stipend for two months and there was not enough money to pay rent. Dolores was about to receive a 3-day notice when the resident services coordinator (RSC) intervened. She was able to delay eviction proceedings until the son’s stipend payments were straightened out. Finally, the late payments arrived and the rent was up to date when Dolores passed away at home as she had always wanted to do.
“Ethel” in Puyallup Couldn’t Access VA Benefits
Ethel, a resident of Sunset Gardens in Puyallup, thought that she had filed all the paperwork to get her VA benefits but the benefits were not coming. Ethel’s friend told her that the resident services coordinator (RSC) might be able to help. Over the next few weeks, the RSC worked with Ethel to straighten out her benefits problem. He was eventually able to connect Ethel with the right place at the VA where she could re-file the paperwork. This time, everything went through and Ethel is now receiving regular monthly checks after being paid the back benefits owed to her.
“Bill” in Mountlake Terrace Needed Additional Care
A resident services coordinator (RSC) at Mountlake Terrace found out that Bill was not doing well and had fallen behind on his rent. He was not bathing and repeatedly falling. While he never suffered any serious injuries, Bill would often become “marooned” in his apartment because he had such trouble getting to his feet.
In addition, Bill was receiving regular 10-day notices about issues at his apartment that he needed to address. He was at risk for eviction and an Adult Protective Services (APS) report was filed. A social worker with Aging and Disability Services (ADS) had stepped in to help with Bill’s issues. The RSC worked with both the APS and ADS to address Bill’s issues and was calling Bill frequently to check on him. She often found that he was pessimistic, confused and disorganized.
With the RSC’s persistent intervention, however, Bill’s situation began to change. For one thing, the RSC got him enrolled in a hot lunch program that meant he was getting at least one nutritious meal a day. The local food bank also agreed to deliver a fresh bag of groceries to Bill once a week.