Healthy Resolutions: Staying Strong in 2016

The New Year is well underway, and those who made resolutions back in January are hopefully still sticking with them today. Here at Our Saviour’s Housing, our signature health program, Lifestyle Lift-up has helped residents make and keep their own resolutions related to health and wellness!

Funded by Allina Health’s Neighborhood Health Connection grant, Lifestyle Lift-up promotes physical, emotional, and social wellness through various activities. In the past six months alone, it offered 60 different events that drew more than 100 people. Nearly 70% of participants returned more than once, totaling 300 attendances.

A range of program options allow each participant to work towards a holistic, healthy lifestyle. For instance, twice each week, a nationally televised and published chef teaches nutrition with healthy cooking classes. Massage therapy, meditation, wellness coaching, and haircuts also all find regular spots on the schedule – helping to reduce stress while boosting confidence. On the social end, yard games, indoor group games (like Catch Phrase!), and special outings all promote community and build a sense of belonging. Most recently, residents tried their luck bowling!

For many residents, a program like Lifestyle Lift-up makes a huge difference. In the words of John, a resident in Permanet Supportive Housing (PSH):

“I have chronic depressive disorder. Most of the time, I don’t want to do anything at all. But with events at OSH, I get a lot of energy and want to go. There is nothing expected of me but me. [Lifestyle Lift-up] has allowed me to get out of my house and interact with people in similar situations with similar backgrounds. I’ve cultivated strong relationships through this program.”

While the program would benefit anyone, it is especially valuable for our residents. When people experience homelessness, their physical and mental energy is spent on basic survival, without room or resources to increase and maintain higher levels of health and wellness. As Lafayette, another PSH resident, notes,

“When people experience homelessness, they don’t think about health and wellness, so it’s great to have a program that focuses on this essential part of everyday life.”

Beyond individuals, Lifestyle Lift-up can also benefit the broader community. John explains,

“In general, the more chances we have to get out and interact with each other, the better. It gets us out of our shells and into the public where we can show how well-adjusted we are and change the stereotypes people might have.”

While anyone who happens upon residents on one of their outings might be surprised to learn that these happy, laughing adults have all experienced homelessness, that’s the exact impact this program has to offer – hope, community, and wellness to those who need it most.