Every Friday, Robert and nine of his neighbors don matching brown hats stitched with letter “P” for power, lace up their shoes and trek for a mile around Mission Village’s parking lot. As they soak up the morning sun, their laughter and animated chatter echo from the walls of the three-story development.

This is Mission Village’s walking club.

The group was inspired by Robert’s desire to do more exercise, with a little kickstart from Hope through Housing services coordinator Christine Alcala.

Christine learned Robert, who lives on limited retirement benefits, was struggling with a mounting electric bill and was wearing old and tattered sneakers.

“It kept piling and piling up that at some point something so small becomes a big problem,” Robert said.

That’s when Christine dipped into Hope through Housing’s emergency assistance funds to not only pay off Robert’s electric bill but also to get him new sneakers.

“Just by getting him the shoes, his motivation to get back into movement has increased,” Christine said. “That little bit of assistance adds to seniors’ longevity and improves their quality of life. It’s about providing residents with their immediate needs while working toward their long-term goals.”

A low-impact exercise like walking brings about a high reward of maintaining good health and doing it with a group encourages him to persevere, Robert said.

Research has shown that maintaining mobility is critical to functioning well and living independently as people age. Older adults who lose their mobility experience higher rates of disease, disability and have an overall poorer quality of life.

“I’m really grateful that my bill is finally paid off and I finally have some new walking shoes!” Robert said.

Click here to support Hope through Housing’s emergency assistance program




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