***Blog previously featured in The Arc Baltimore’s Summer 2016 Advocate
“I’m a 70-year-old retiree,” says Dorothy Forrest. “I could be sitting at home, but instead I help at Homeland.”
Dorothy volunteers 15-20 hours a week at the Homeland Community Employment Center through the Senior Companion Program. Sponsored by the Baltimore City Health Department, the program offers stipends to low-income people ages 55 and over who volunteer to help people who require supportive services. Better yet, it encourages independence for companions and clients by fostering community involvement and strengthening social interaction.
Dorothy says she comes in smiling and acting silly. “If I feel at ease, they feel at ease. If there’s a radio on, I’ll start dancing and then grab a partner. You’d be surprised at the smiles I get!”