An elderly neighbor of mine rang my doorbell this week. I was surprised to see her since I had not seen her walking her dog in quite sometime. It turns out she had moved several months ago but was now faced with a large rent increase--large enough that she was concerned that she would not have a place to stay by the end of the week. She was looking for help in the form of leads on somewhere else to go.
The immediacy of the situation got me thinking about the various agencies we have in the County to help with this kind of need. My former neighbor had spoken to several people at the County, but so far had not had any luck. As my mind spun through the other options, I recalled HIP Housing, a non-profit organization located in San Mateo. They have four programs of which the "house sharing" service offered the most immediate possiblity of helping.
After speaking with Laura Fanucchi, the Associate Director, I learned that the house sharing program involved connecting Home Providers with persons seeking housing (Home Seekers) who pay rent, exchange services in lieu of rent or do a combination of the two. Rents vary from $550 on up with occasional lower rents. Service Exchanges involve non-medical care such as helping with meals, shopping, cleaning, companionship and doing errands. There are generally more rent exchanges than service exchanges. Each person has their own room and shares the common areas of the home.
I'm hoping this new connection works out for my neighbor and I'm grateful that Burlingame and San Mateo County have groups like HIP Housing. There seems to be an increase in homeless people in B'game lately, but my elderly neighbor was not prepared for that level of hardship even for a short period of time. I know we have bloggers with first hand experience with Call Primrose, Community Gatepath and the Shelter Network--how are these organizations doing these days?