In August 2020, a senior Oakland Park resident found herself in need. Her rent was raised amidst a global pandemic and living on a fixed budget as so many seniors do, she found herself “priced out” of her current rental. Her rent would soon be more than her monthly income. This left her in the vulnerable position of not being able to save up rent another more affordable home.
Living in Oakland Park was made aware of the situation and posted a Facebook fundraiser. The community quickly came together, raising approximately $2,100 for her to use towards first, last, and security for a new adult community in Margate. She moved into her new home the first of the year, giving 2021 a fresh start with more financial stability.
The senior in need, who wishes to remain anonymous, stated, “To the people that donated, all my thanks. I would not have been able to move without your help.” She added, “My new place is in Margate, and it’s a 55 plus community.” Moving from a two-bedroom to a one-bedroom for the senior in need was no easy feat. “I had to hire a moving company, and it took six hours to move.”
While the city may not have numerous senior communities, it does offer programs for its senior citizens. The two most notable are Operation Our Neighbor and the Phone Buddy program. Operation Our Neighbor is a community-based improvement project in cooperation with the City of Oakland Park Volunteer Corps to help the vulnerable population make repairs to their homes. The Phone Buddy program reaches out to the vulnerable population who may be lonely or need assistance.
If you know a senior in need or would like to get involved. You can find more information and apply here: www.Oaklandparkfl.gov/235/volunteer-corps.
If you or someone you know could use a phone buddy, please contact Bruce Garrison at [email protected] or call 954-630-4502.
There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about.
Rhiannon Samoyedny was born and raised in South Florida. She has lived in Oakland Park for over 25 years and purchased her home in Garden Acres in 2012 where she resides with her husband, two teenaged boys, a few rescue cats, and her dog.
Her professional career began as a project manager and estimator for a small Oakland Park construction company and she later went on to earn her degree in Court Reporting, where she later incorporated her own small business RS Reporting, Inc.
She has a passion for gardening and attends many horticulture classes and workshops. She is also an LGA (Local Government Academy) graduate, class of 2019, and an active community volunteer and activist. You can usually find her around town at various Oakland Park meetings and events with her notebook, so be sure to say hello.