An artist and grandmother’s passion for new neighbors

Diverse community forms in NoHo – Jeannie’s story

Jeannie is a beautiful artist and writer, skills she learned from her father as a child. She spent her career working for the City of New York, but moved to California to retire near her children. She has a close relationship with her two daughters, three grandchildren, and 5-month old great grandchild. Jeannie had to retire early because of health challenges, including arthritis and a stroke. Jeannie states, “It’s hard to find a rental in general, because there aren’t enough, but it’s even harder to find one that’s handicapped accessible,” adding, “Rents are out of control, and this is the first place I’ve seen with affordable rents.” Jeannie moved in to NoHo Senior Villas on her birthday, and calls it her birthday present. Now, Jeannie says she has new sons and daughters in the NoHo Senior Villas community.

Jeannie has nothing but praise for NoHo Senior Villas, saying, “In my 79 years in New York and California, I’ve never see anything like this beautiful building and its programs.” Jeannie is passionate about NoHo Senior Villa’s model of integrating affordable apartments along with services, right in the building, for people who have faced homelessness and have a disability. “This model helps people to continue to move upward instead of going back to the street. People who were on the street can’t just be given shelter and then left alone to move forward without assistance – you’re not really reducing homelessness that way. People need to be able to live as human beings to move forward.”

“As a senior citizen, what’s the point of living longer if the quality of your life is bad?” Jeannie says. “Here at NoHo, we’re attacking the problem from different angles. That’s why there is a diverse community of residents coming together here. We work with the staff.” Jeannie thanked Clifford Beers Housing, PATH, and the “great” property management of the John Stewart Company for making NoHo Senior Villas such a good home. Jeannie says living at NoHo helped her overcome her own stereotypes of different types of people. Today she loves living with other people and being their surrogate mom. “People help and serve each other here,” Jeannie says. “We need to have more buildings and communities like this one.”

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