In her early 70s now, Janice C grew up in Springfield, Massachusetts but has lived on the Cape since 1970. Her only daughter lives in Oregon. Jean was living in Tonset Woods apartments for many years, driving her car to and from her job at Liberty Commons and a second job at Chatham Village Market. Then she was diagnosed with a detached retina. Even after surgery to reattach the retina, she really could not see well enough to feel comfortable driving. Soon afterwards, her vision seemed to be declining. Coincidentally, the car registration expired and so she decided to give up her car. A year or so later her vision had cleared a bit so she got a learner permit again but failed part of the driving test. She took that as a sign.
She used the bus system to get back and forth from the Market, a 45-minute walk once the bus dropped her in Chatham. However, Jean had to give up the Liberty Commons job due to transportation issues. She also walked to church on Sundays, an hour each way. Jean said, “I was thinking this was my lot in life, that I would be walking hours each day to get anywhere. I ran into Gennie from Lower Cape Outreach Council and we chatted about at least getting a winter coat from Katy’s Korner to keep me warm on my walks.”
She ran into Gennie again while out shopping and Gennie asked how things were going. When she found out that Janice had to give up one job due to lack of transportation, she asked her to stop by the office and when Jean did, Gennie gave her some Stop & Shop gift cards to assist. They also talked about moving to a place that was closer to the town center and a bus stop. Even though she loved to walk, 45 minutes to an hour each way to the bus had begun to take its toll. When an opportunity came up for a move to Rock Harbor Village, the perfect location in town, LCOC helped with moving expenses and the security deposit so she did not lose the chance. The rent is affordable and includes everything but electricity and cable.
She has been at Rock Harbor Village for a few years now and she feels so thankful for the help from Lower Cape Outreach Council. She can walk the bike path to church and has a short walk to anywhere she needs to go—grocery, pharmacy and the bus stop to take her anywhere else she might choose.
“It’s a whole new world. I would not have been able to make this move without the help from the Council. They have been a blessing and I cannot say enough good things about Gennie and the outreach that she does. I offered to give them a little money back when I got my stimulus checks, but they said no. I just cannot thank them enough for all they have done for me.”
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