Tobacco-free housing is a priority of Faribault, Martin and Watonwan SHIP, and those counties have made great progress in educating and collaborating with housing complex managers on the impact smoking has on residents of multi-unit housing.
The work began in 2016 with SHIP working on policies, resources and tools to use in meetings with housing managers. It didn’t take long, about six months, for the Mayberry Reality Apartments in St. James, to go tobacco-free, impacting 137 units. In May of 2018, that number has grown to 559 within the Faribault, Martin, & Watonwan County Region!
Linda, a resident of Friendship Village in Fairmont, started smoking when she was 15. Her complex went smoke-free on June 1, 2017, spurring Linda to quit. After lighting up for 50 years, she is now seven months tobacco-free.
“My dog is happy. My cat is happy. My house is happy and I’m happy!” Instead of using the money Linda would have used to purchase cigarettes, she saved that money and bought herself an iPhone. “Where have I been? I LOVE IT!” said Linda.
Linda’s charisma and passion to better her health and others has led a friend to quit smoking. “It hasn’t been easy. It takes a lot of determination and lots of willpower. A LOT of willpower.”
Linda is happy to be living smoke-free and is a proud advocate of her smoke-free building. SHIP plans to continue with its efforts in 2018 and beyond, and hope to surpass the 600 unit mark.