A Thank You to our Neighbors

When you think of the word neighbor, who comes to mind?  Neighbors can make us think of a whole community of people.  Some we know very well, and have been afforded the great joy of getting to share in their lives.  Some we may not know well at all, but their presence alone encourages us think more of the community we are surrounded by.

We have been so fortunate to come across so many good neighbors over the years.  We had to take this chance to recognize them on this National Good Neighbor Day!  Their stories bring to light the great impact our fellow community members have on us, and the wonderful sensations accompanied by embracing those connections. Our homesharers in particular are shining examples of people who go above and beyond to help others.

Karen Heyward-West, director of the Homesharing Program, spoke to Mr. Jones, who was matched with Ms. Smith and her 8 year-old grandson. He was happy to report that they all were getting along extremely well (Names of clients have been changed to protect their identity).

“First the ability to help people find a home is important to me,” Mr Jones commented. “Second this match is perfect; I adore this child, and can tell that he is safe, stable, and very happy.  I even brought him a dog.”

“In my wildest dreams I would have never thought that my life would be enhanced by sharing my home.  Homesharing for me is a long term solution for people like me and Ms. Smith. It’s not always about the money it’s about the person you are and can become when you are happy!”

Ms. Smith also shared her story with Homesharing.

“I can now see a light at the end of the tunnel.  I can plan my funds better, purchase food on a regular basis.  I am providing a stable home environment for my grandson.  Who would have thought that Homesharing would allow me to put a smile on my face let alone my Grandson. I have learned through Homesharing that it’s not always about having your name on the deeds, but it’s about having a place to call home.”

Thank you to all the good neighbors, who help us find and create homes.  Thank you for being a part of our lives.  We are exceptionally grateful for you, who so graciously reach from the bottom of your heart to lend us a hand. We hope we can be good neighbors to you too.

What neighbors are you grateful for? What impact have they had on your life?



Continue reading “A Thank You to our Neighbors”

“The Partnership”

Ralph Moore comments on the secret to St. Ambrose’s success over the last 50 years through the story of a woman who found her footing in a St. Ambrose rental home. Ralph is a former staff and board member.

A Homesharing Match that Stuck

A story of lives, love, and culture shared as told by Annette Leahy Maggitti, Homesharing pioneer and veteran. 

The following is an excerpt from the Homesharing Newsletter: Fall 2002. 

There are some people who are just made for home­sharing, and Shirley is just that kind of person. A vibrant woman in her 70’s, she had recently purchased her home and wanted to share it. Shirley is respectful of life and the environment, and she thought it unfair to have a three-bedroom home and have only one bedroom being used! On a fixed income, the extra money would certainly help, and being a gregarious, open individual, it was only natural that she would want some companionship.

Her flexibility was probably her greatest asset when it came to homesharing. She wanted a respectable person whom he could trust, but culture, race, age and status meant absolutely nothing to her. In the five years she has been with us, she has had 6 homesharers, the latest was with Yong, the subject of this not so usual match!

Yong came from China and enrolled in the International Business Program at the University of Baltimore. In the student housing guide, St. Ambrose was listed. He wanted a quiet, peaceful place to live and work. Shirley welcomed him as she had with all of her former housemates. She had hosted Korean students, Indian contract workers and American youngsters making the break from living under their parents’ roof. Yong knew from the first interview with Shirley that this was the place for him. They shared their culture and interests. He prepared Chinese dumplings and she introduced him to American sweets!

Almost a year into their time together, a colleague of Yong’s needed a place to “hang her hat,” and Shirley had a very small room that she was willing to rent. Yong and his friend, who at the time were “just friends”, became more enamored of each other and announced that they had decided to get married.

They asked Shirley to be one of their witnesses. She was thrilled beyond words! Shirley hosted a reception at her home, combining American culture and food with Chinese decorations and delicacies. Neighbors, friends, students, professors, family members and St. Ambrose staff, the initial matchmakers, celebrated another success!