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Neighbourhood resident goes from senior-at-risk to seniors’ supporter*

Local senior Marlene’s loneliness and isolation forced her into a mental health crisis. She said, “I was buried. I didn’t reach out. After a long time people stopped trying. I got more and more depressed.”

But United Way-supported Collingwood Neighbourhood House gave Marlene a new lease on life. There she found stability and community in seniors’ programs.

Now Marlene is a Better at Home Volunteer Connector at CNH. She reaches out to other at-risk seniors, referring them to vital services. Marlene describes helping others as a tool for staying healthy: “There’s nothing like helping other people to make you feel better. Nothing like it.”

The United Way’s support for CNH’s Better at Home program has made stories like Marlene’s possible. Last year almost 60,000 seniors accessed United Way-supported services. One was Marlene, and many more were her own friends and neighbours.

One particularly hard-to-reach neighbour stands out. Just how did she win him over?

Watch this 40-second video to find out.

To learn more about CNH’s Better at Home program, visit

*Adapted from a United Way newsletter.


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