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Share the Plate, Sunday, January 7, 2024 – UUH-Outreach Client Assistance Fund

On Sunday, January 7, our Share the Plate recipient will be UU House Outreach Client Assistance Fund

In 1933, members of the Unitarian Society of Germantown, with support from a number of other local UU churches, established a non-profit, non-denominational home for older adults in an historic Victorian mansion to provide quality retirement services. At the time, many Unitarians felt they had nowhere to live safely and comfortably in their later years. In 1999, UU House merged with Lycoming House and began the Outreach Program, which carried on as a separate entity in 2010, when the UU House closed down.

Now, UU House Outreach assists older adults in NW Philadelphia in their efforts to age independently, as vital members of their communities of choice. A multi-disciplinary nurse/social worker/occupational therapist team provides support, resources, healthy aging strategies, and interventions. The program is governed by a board of trustees, most of whom are nominated by UU congregations in the (former) Joseph Priestley District. Our trustee is Bill Hardham. In the past, Peggy Cairncross, Barry & Barbara Marrs, Marj Mabrey, Ruth Mette, Lois Kaylor, Phyllis Wynn, Sally Hamburger and Stu Pratt have enthusiastically served UUH.

Throughout the pandemic, Outreach staff members continued providing support to approximately 300 isolated older adults each year, many of whom are African American women living alone on fixed incomes, struggling to make ends meet. The offering will go to Outreach’s Client Assistance Fund that provides small grants of approximately $100-$150 per individual per year to assist clients with a variety of needs. Grants have typically covered medical costs and supplies, prevented utility shutoffs, and provided nutritious food. These grants have proven especially vital in the current environment. As the cost of basic goods has risen significantly recently, Outreach has been able to assist with accessing the aforementioned items, as well as personal protective equipment for those who are undergoing medical treatment and need to leave their homes, water filtration pitchers for those whose water is not safe enough to drink, and other personal necessities. Sara Popkin, Outreach Executive Director, describes the importance of these grants: “In the course of our work, we often come across older adults who are struggling to meet their basic needs. It is heartbreaking to see our clients having to decide whether to pay for their medication or for a grab bar they may need to navigate safely in their bathroom. Our Client Assistance Fund gives us the opportunity to ease some of these struggles for the older adults we are honored to serve.”