11 Oct 2017
New Knowledge Makes Life Better for THP Participant
Amanda has worked hard for a better life for her and her two daughters. Receiving her Associate’s Degree in Medical Billing & Coding is just the start. We are so proud of her drive and determination.

When Amanda was unable to attend her graduation ceremony, HSI sprang into action to ensure that this important milestone was properly celebrated. We recreated the moment and threw her a graduation party. She marched to the tune of Pomp and Circumstance wearing her cap and gown and even flipped her tassel at the end. The festivities included a catered dinner, cake, balloons and games for the kid’s thanks to volunteer hosts Barbara Pantazopoulos and Frank Farrell.

Amanda is a hardworking, single mother, of two young girls. She started at the main shelter and is currently a participant in our Transitional Housing Program (THP). She began her higher education while living outside of NJ. She worked hard to continue taking classes online while in our program. This would not have been possible without the computer donated by the Electronic Access FoundationIt was no easy feat working full-time and juggling it all but she was determined to finish what she started.

Today we are so proud that Amanda received her Associate’s Degree in Medical Billing & Coding from Ultimate Medical Academy. She has plans to further her education by getting her Bachelor’s Degree. Amanda shared with pride, “I am the first person in my family to graduate college and it means the world to me to come this far. I strive to be the best role model for my girls. I’m beyond grateful for what Homeless Solutions has done for me from providing a computer to having staff that motivated me to get my classes done.”

Congratulations to Amanda on her success and bright future! Moments like this could not be possible without the support of our staff, partners and volunteers. Thank you.

Students Teach Seniors to Take Selfies & more…

The Seniors at the Mt. Kemble Home are looking forward to their weekly visits from Dr. Susan Rosenbloom’s Public Sociology class from Drew University.

Drew University is Back! Students from Dr. Susan Rosenbloom’s Public Sociology class at Drew University are putting their classroom learning to practical use in the real world.

Last year, Dr. Rosenbloom initiated a real-life learning experience with her students and the senior women at the Mount Kemble Home (MKH). It was so well received that her new students this semester will benefit from the same experience.

It started by conducting a survey to discover the types of programs that interested the residents. Then they set up a volunteer schedule filled with weekly activities. One of their favorites was a Technology & Tea program. The women were paired with a student who taught them how to solve simple tech issues. Like navigating through social media so they could stay in contact with family members. The residents left the session able to understand their notifications, post selfies, and even like and comment on posts. Social Media can be intimidating for this generation and the students made it easy for them. The residents felt confident and were thrilled to connect with friends and family in a new way.

“I look forward to the visits from the students each week.  It’s nice to have the company and also learn something. Teaching me how to stay in touch with my grandkids on social media was truly a gift,” said resident Barbara Waters.

When the course ended last semester, two students — Lori Birchler and Samantha Rucko — continued to volunteer at MKH. Both are loyal fans and enjoy spending time with the residents beyond the requirements of the course. “I am just so impressed by the relationships that all of the students built with the women. There really is a lot of potential to build relationships that span a generation,” said Dr. Rosenbloom.

Going into year two, a new group of students will begin their volunteer service at MKH. They recently hosted a “Meet & Greet BBQ.” They left with new friends and good ideas on fresh programs they can offer. So far a fan favorite is Game Night and Family Dinners.

We are looking forward to seeing what bonds will be forged between the students and residents at MKH.

Thank you to Drew University!

Head over to the Facebook page to see more pics & a video from the BBQ.