HomeShare Vermont bring people together, helps fill needs
BRISTOL — With no age or income restrictions on HomeShare Vermont’s participants, homeshare hosts are drawn to the program for an extensive list of reasons.
Some need a little help around the house or want companionship. Others could use extra rental income to help make ends meet. Then there are some who see homesharing as a way to give back to the community and environment.
To Jono Chapin, an Addison County host, it seemed wasteful not to share his extra space. So he came to HomeShare Vermont a few years ago looking for a housemate. Civic-minded and a devoted environmentalist, he saw homesharing as a greener way to live — a more e?cient use of space and resources.
After years of doing woodworking and coaching lacrosse, Chapin also had plans of starting an organic farm, so extra income from homesharing would help while he got the farm up and running.
Sid Salla, a hopeful guest, approached homesharing as a way to live without being isolated. Sharing some meals and conversation sounded great, especially since he has no family in Vermont.
A registered nurse in his home country of the Philippines, Salla earned his R.N. license in Vermont and hoped to find housing near his new job at Porter Medical Center. A personable, enthusiastic and all-around positive guy, Salla says that helping others adds purpose to his life and that aspect of homesharing interested him.
Chapin and Salla did HomeShare Vermont’s standard two-week trial and each of them knew they wanted to give it a go. They have now been homesharing for more than 2 and a half years. Although they started out in a home in New Haven, Chapin has since found the land he was looking for and together they moved into a rural 1850’s Bristol farmhouse.
Although it’s a work in progress, it’s easy to envision the future veggie and cut flower gardens, the meat-smoking house and the public walking trails.
Homesharing has helped Salla perfect his English and assimilate into a new culture. They celebrated Salla’s new United States citizenship status in Jan., 16 years after Salla’s grandmother first petitioned for him to migrate to this country. Salla finds many plusses to their homeshare.
“I turn to Chapin for advice and help with decision-making. He even taught me how to ski and now I love it,” Salla said.
Chapin appreciates the little things. Salla’s a great cook and he finds it’s nice to share a meal after a busy day. The rental income helps while he works on his house and property.
“The cultural exchange is great. I feel very fortunate to have this opportunity to learn about someone else and I see the value in having the connection to HomeShare Vermont,” Chapin added. “My ethic is to not be wasteful, so I share my home.”
More information on how HomeShare Vermont’s comprehensive screening and matching process can help you or a family member is available at HomeShareVermont.org or 802-863-5625. HomeShare Vermont serves Addison, Chittenden, Franklin, and Grand Isle counties and is a funded agency of the United Way of Northwest Vermont.
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