New senior housing concept for low-income adults

5:03 PM, May 28, 2013   |    comments
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MINNEAPOLIS - A new concept in senior living is now up and running in Minneapolis, with some ideas that are so unique, the hope is they catch on nationwide.

David Copple is one of the beneficiaries. 

After a stroke that put him on disability, Copple couldn't afford some of the nicer assisted living facilities.  He said, "I woke up every morning at the old place and I saw a ring of curtains surrounding my bed and I hated that so much."

But now he lives at Heritage Park, a comprehensive senior housing complex you would expect in an affluent suburb.  However this one, in North Minneapolis, is for low-income adults.

Cora McCorvey, executive director of the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority said, "There's a quality of life that's being added to each and every person that comes here.  It's a beautiful facility."

Heritage Park, with its Heritage Park Senior Services Center, its Thomas T. Feeney Manor assisted living facility and its Heritage Commons at Pond's Edge assisted and independent living complex, is the pride and joy of the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority because, with the help of some important partners, it offers multiple services to its residents under one roof.

McCorvey said when it comes to public housing, "We also have the first in the country memory care facility."

The Thomas T. Feeney Manor is the first public housing facility to include memory care beds. 

That assisted living facility connects to the Heritage Park Senior Services Center. 

There, partners like the YMCA offer exercise equipment and fitness classes, Augustana Adult Day Services offers programming and nutritious meals, the Courage Center offers physical therapy and sessions in its therapy pool and Neighborhood HealthSource offers onsite physicians.

The Minneapolis Highrise Representative Council is also a partner.

All services are available to the seniors living in the complex and also to those from outside. 

The waiting list for independent living is five years, and for assisted living, from three to twelve months.   

It's definitely in demand.  But can more facilities like this be built?

McCorvey said, "It takes quite a bit of funding to build something like this."

It cost nearly 28 million in mostly federal funds, some from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, to build the Senior Services Center and the Thomas T. Feeney Manor. 

It cost another 14 million to build the independent living units.

Augustana program director Katie Stadther had long dreamed of a facility as comprehensive as this for low-income adults.  She said, "Being able to do this for people is such a blessing."

Copple agrees.  He said, "I always tell people anyone can give you shots and medicine."  Pointing to his heart he continued, "But you get well in here and that's what they give you here is a lot of heart."

(Copyright 2013 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)

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