500 low-income seniors call four of Bellwethers’ thirty properties home. Although self-sufficient and independent, our senior residents have on-site access to social services and referrals through our Resident Services Program when needed. Resident Services Coordinators play a unique role in our senior buildings. They are an important link to social services and resources that residents might require — but cannot access — on their own. Read on to learn about one such resource.
Meet Tony, a 74 year old man living at Meridian Manor; a self-proclaimed writer, musician, singer, and Bachelors of Arts degree holder from the University of the East in Manila, Philippines. Tony immigrated to Seattle, Washington in 1964, after being sponsored by his brother. In 2003 he moved to Meridian Manor.
Tony had always dreamt of gaining his citizenship, but could never afford the $680 fee. Last year, Tony’s dreams became a reality. The Resident Services Coordinator at Meridian Manor, saw the need for Citizenship Classes for most of the foreign born residents. She contacted Asian Counseling and Referral Services (ACRS), and arranged for tutoring classes that would educate the residents on the citizenship process, along with US history.
Tony attended the first class, and soon found out that the fees associated with the citizenship process would be waved for low-income individuals. He was ecstatic, and started the Citizenship process through ACRS immediately. The application process took four months. He had to submit numerous documents, get his fingerprints taken for a background check, and eventually had his interview.
On July 23rd, after spending seven hours at the US Immigrations Office in Tukwila, he became a US Citizen. When asked, Tony says he is most excited to vote, as it is the ultimate voice and power of the people.