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Special Collection UU House Outreach – June 2015

Mary Fallon of the Unitarian Universalist House Outreach Program, located in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia, will join us on Sunday, June 14. Bill Hardham of First Church is a long time board member of the former UU House and the current Outreach Program. Outreach staff work with NW Philadelphia residents aged 60 and older to help identify and access resources and strategies to enable these older adults to remain in their own homes while staying connected to their communities. Most Outreach Program clients are African American women living alone; all have fixed incomes, and many are in need of support. Outreach staff have worked with more than 700 individuals since the program was founded in 1999, and currently serve about 280 clients. The service is free to clients. Due to its small size the program is very individualized and as inclusive and non-bureaucratic as possible.

In 2007 Outreach started a Client Assistance Fund (CAF) that provides small grants to clients for particular needs, such as food, utilities assistance, medication co-pays, medical supplies, and other necessities. Every dollar donated to the CAF is distributed to clients; the program takes no administrative fees. Outreach conducts an annual holiday food drive and participates in the UU MLK Day of Service every year. The small staff consists of the executive director, social services supervisor, registered nurse, service coordinator, and administrative assistant. Salaries are covered by the Lycoming endowment. At least half of the program board members are UUs. Many student interns are placed at the agency from a variety of disciplines, which brings an intergenerational dimension to the work.