HomePorts, Inc. held its annual meeting on February 7, with a presentation by Jane E. Hukill, President, summarizing the work during 2016. HomePorts is a membership organization helping older adults to continue living safely and comfortably in their own homes.
According to Hukill, there are now a total of 100 members, nine of whose membership fees are covered by a financial assistance program. Local transportation is the most requested service, with members offered five rides per months from volunteers. Over the past two years there has been a huge increase in requests and in the number of volunteer time donated. In 2016 members made 785 requests, with volunteers providing over 1200 hours of service.
HomePorts maintains a list of 66 approved providers of paid services (i.e., vendors) in 34 categories of service, including interior and exterior home maintenance, computer trouble-shooting, out-of-town transportation, and pet care. The most common needs are non-medical home care, house cleaning, paid transportation, and handy persons.
Additionally, HomePorts encourages participation in social, educational, and cultural activities and expects to expand education programs that are open and free to the public. It also plans to hold a Health Fair again at the Kent County High School, on October 19, 2017, with extensive exhibits, health screenings, and expert talks.
Other plans for 2017 include working more with local agencies and organizations, increasing the membership, and recruiting more volunteers.
Those eligible for membership include anyone over 55 living in the greater Kent County area. HomePorts is modeled after similar organizations operating successfully in other regions of the country. Founding members spent two years studying other such “villages”, which are springing up rapidly in many communities and are cited by experts as the wave of the future. The first one in Boston, known as Beacon Hill Village, has been in operation for over ten years. There are now over twenty in Maryland, with HomePorts being the first on the Eastern Shore.
“If you have a friend or neighbor who could benefit from our services, I encourage you to call me,” says Executive Director Karen Wright. “Or if you don’t need any help now but want to get involved, we have opportunities for one-time projects and a real need for drivers to take members to local medical appointments.”
Information about membership or volunteering is available Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., by calling 443-480-0940 or go to www.homeports.org. The e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.