Meet a Navigation Client

Navigating for Vital Resources

Our Navigator, Shirley

Two weeks ago, we told you a little about our Navigation Services – an additional service we offer to  families and seniors to get them connected with additional resources like SNAP benefits, utility assistance, home repairs, and more. Typically, our Navigator, Shirley, serves over 400 clients a month, at least 40 on a regular basis. Some of the most consistent requests, she says, are for air conditioners and refrigerators, as well as assistance with repairing homes. Shirley has developed relationships with many of our seniors, often giving a friendly call just to check in on them and see how they are doing.

Meet Ms. McHenry

One of those clients is Ms. McHenry. Ms. McHenry is 81 years old and lives alone. She is registered in our home delivery program and receives a monthly distribution of food. She learned about Target Hunger several years ago when the main office was on Jensen and has considered it a helpful resource in the years since. “Target Hunger has been a blessing. I don’t have the money to get some of the food I need, and Target Hunger has been helpful for years.” Shirley checks in on Ms. McHenry to let her know when to expect her food deliveries. At the height of the pandemic, she consistently checked in to make sure Ms. McHenry had the necessary protection for COVID safety – gloves and masks in case she needed to venture from home. In addition, Shirley has assisted Ms. McHenry by connecting her with home repair resources.

Beyond physical assistance, Shirley and Ms. McHenry have formed an endearing friendship. They speak to each other at least every 2 weeks, and if Ms. McHenry hasn’t heard from Shirley, she is not hesitant to call: “I’ll call her if I haven’t heard from her. She’s always open to talk.” Shirley adores her conversations with Ms. McHenry, and the feeling is mutual.

Ms. McHenry says:

“Ms. Shirley is the most wonderful lady that I have ever wanted to meet. I talk to her on the phone. When she first called, when I first started talking to her, seems like God sent her to me. I enjoyed talking to her the first time I talked to her. I call her on a regular basic. I’d rather talk to Shirley than some of my own relatives and church people. She is a lady that can help people when they have problems. Sometimes it’s not about giving, sometimes it’s about a kind word and a call in the morning. She has the most beautiful personality. She always has time for you. If everyone would be like Ms. Shirley, everybody would be happy.”

You can see a Navigator like Shirley not only helps people find the help they need, but can also brighten someone’s day. Supporting Target Hunger, makes a direct impact on the lives of the community we serve and seniors like Ms. McHenry.

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