Summer 2020
Dear Fri ends,
Welcome to the first issue of the Metro HomeShare Community News!

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Metro HomeShare (MHS) has made a number of changes to our program in an effort to make the participant experience a safe and smooth one. It has always been important that we offer an easily accessible service. During a time like this, we realize the importance of accessibility now more than ever.

  • Instead of meeting with home seekers at in-person group orientations, we now offer individual intakes sessions, either on by phone or Zoom.

  • Likewise, we are conducting home provider intakes remotely. In lieu of our standard home visit, home providers share photos and/or a video walk-through of their home. This allows prospective home seekers to “see” the living space without any risk of exposure to COVID-19.

  • Our team has developed a Coronavirus Response Planning Worksheet, which outlines steps new match participants will take to prevent infection, and how to proceed in the event of an infection. 

  • We are also highly attuned to the increased tensions that exist for our current home-sharing matches. Whether they are sheltering in place together or going out to work, our staff is providing extra case management and mediation support to help facilitate good communication.

During this time, Metro HomeShare has become more personalized and agile than ever. While we look forward to a return to more personal interaction, the pandemic has generated some “out of the box” solutions that we will be pleased to carry forward.

Andrew Brown, Program Manager
Devon Hoyt, Outreach Coordinator
Gregory Maloof, Multnomah County Client Coordinator
Elise Schaff-Laubach, Washington County Client Coordinator
Client Success Story: Creating Community & Changing Lives             
Paula [name changed for privacy] moved to Portland in the winter of 2019 to be closer to extended family. She moved in with her relatives in anticipation of securing a place of her own. Paula quickly found that the affordable housing crisis in our region extended deeper than she had expected. Like so many low-income seniors, she earned enough from retirement and social security to pay rent, but had no savings to pay for move-in costs like first and last month’s rent and a deposit. This made it nearly impossible for her to secure any traditional market rentals.
In addition to the difficulty of finding an affordable unit that was also wheelchair accessible, Paula’s temporary home situation was becoming untenable. She was facing a terrible choice: seek a bed at a local shelter, become homeless, or continue to live in an unsafe and unstable environment. 

Paula called around to local homeless shelters and was told there was a long wait for ADA accessible beds, but maybe a program called Metro HomeShare could help.
Help Metro HomeShare develop affordable housing
Lack of affordable housing is a huge challenge in the Portland metro area. For seniors on a fixed income, rising expenses can easily overwhelm them. Home-sharing is a creative, low-cost solution.
While building new affordable housing can cost upward of hundreds of thousands of dollars per unit, Metro HomeShare makes use of existing housing at roughly $5,000 per match. Home sharing not only solves housing needs, it also creates connection, community, independence and empowerment.
Your financial support of Metro HomeShare can make a huge difference! For example:
  • $600 will keep a low-income senior in housing for one month.
  • $250 will provide rent assistance needed to prevent the average home seeker from becoming rent burdened.

We also invite you to become a Sustaining Partner with a recurring monthly gift that will enable us to continue serving the most housing vulnerable.
Meet the Metro HomeShare Team!
Elise Schaff Laubach is our Client Coordinator for Washington County and has been with Metro HomeShare since September 2019. Elise facilitates matches between home seekers and providers, collaborates with referring partners and agencies, and supports existing matches.
Elise is also a board member of Family Promise of Tualatin Valley and the Templeton Elementary Backpack Program. She brings experience in volunteer management and coordination, as well as government, private and foundation grant writing, program implementation, and community outreach and engagement. Elise is an active member of her faith community and a member of the Oregon Repertory Singers. She earned a degree from the University of Michigan and has more than 10 years of experience in market research.
Metro HomeShare
Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon
(503) 221-1054 | |