PEOPLE HELPING PEOPLE

Home share is a simple concept: it brings together people with space in their homes and working individuals who are happy to chat in return for affordable, sociable accommodation. Together, home providers and homesharers share a home life, time, skills and experience.

At Senior Friendship Centers, the Home Share Program matches people looking for affordable housing in Sarasota with Seniors who have a private bedroom and bath to share. This offers our seniors increased income and the opportunity to enjoy additional companionship and security while staying in their own home longer. It also offers more cost-effective housing, a wide array of living options, and the enjoyment of sharing space with others.

On January 29 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. SFC and the Living in Community Network will be holding an information session entitled “Connection! – Information! – Action!” at SFC’s Sarasota Center. This overview will present the important components of shared living for those exploring the possibility of living in a household with others.

The session will be led by Marianne Kilkenny, a Trailblazer of Community who will also answer to “The Grand Nudge.” Both of those titles embrace Marianne’s reinvention from the “HR Lady” in Silicon Valley to her passion for Aging in Community for herself and others. She has been known to say community is the Solution for the possible dilemmas we face as we age. Marianne is actively enjoying a community lifestyle and likes to share her story with anyone interested in pursuing the same for themselves. She has a zest for life and brings her sense of humor with her wherever she goes.

Marianne is a nationally recognized expert and her story has appeared in various media sources including NBC Nightly News, Good Morning America, More Magazine, WNC Woman, Smart Money, NPR, Reuters, Marketplace Money and the AARP Bulletin. She published Your Quest for Home, A Guidebook to Finding Your Ideal Community in Later Life to further individual and groups to move forward into the reality of a neighborhood of those who care for each other.

Information will also be shared about the Senior Friendship Centers’ Home Share Program, which connects working singles ages 23 years + with adult homeowners over the age of 60 who own their own home, and have a private bath and bedroom to share in exchange for rent. House seekers must have regular verifiable employment. Senior Friendship Centers oversees a thorough application process, facilitates the creation of a home share match and offers follow up and support once a match begins.

“One out of every three houses in Sarasota has just one person living in it, and many working singles find it challenging to find affordable housing,” said Erin McLeod, president & CEO of Senior Friendship Centers. “Affordable housing is such a gaping need in our community; we view home sharing as a logical solution. It has financial and social benefits for the participants.”

The practical support offered through a home share match is agreed between the householder and homesharer and usually includes activities like: cooking, shopping, cleaning, laundry, reading, administration, IT skills and more. Companionship, the feeling of living in a safe place and the independence a home share can bring are equally beneficial for both parties. The mutual arrangement also brings peace of mind to families knowing that an older relative is not alone or that a son or daughter in a new city is in a safe and comfortable home.

The Living in Community Network encourages the creation of sustainable communities where residents live in a mutually supportive environment of friendship, shared values, life-long learning and civic engagement.

A flyer for the event and further information can be found on Marianne’s website: Women Living in Community. Tickets for the event are $10. For more information about the Home Share Program or to purchase tickets, contact Joan Hill at (941) 556-3249, jhill@friendshipcenters.org, or visit friendshipcenters.org.