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Hearing about life in senior housing from those on Tenant Council

Posted: June 14, 2013

This week I attended the annual Tenant Council luncheon, where the representatives of Genesis, Ulin and Leventhal Houses celebrate their work over the past year.  Many council members have been participating since moving in 15-20 years ago, and every year some new residents join the group.  During the year, they share concerns of their neighbors, review capital improvements programs and learn about management plans so they can share them with other residents.  The discussions are lively, often characterized by strong disagreements, and almost always highly productive.

The annual lunch meeting, however, is a chance to simply celebrate accomplishments and share reflections.  Unprompted by us, one by one each resident shared their appreciation for life at JCHE, describing it as “heaven” “a miracle” “the BEST place on earth” and “by far, the most fantastic housing in the city, in the country, in the world”!  They talked knowledgably about comparing JCHE to housing where their friends live or where they used to live; in every case they found multiple reasons to prefer JCHE, including:

  • It’s clean all the time.
  • The maintenance workers are always helpful and competent.  The systems work and repairs are prompt.
  • They never have to wonder whether they can have heat or food—because it’s affordable, they have both.
  • The resident services coordinators are always helpful and effective—with a variety of requests.
  • The management is efficient and positive.
  • There’s always something to do—art class, fitness, programs with children, cooking demonstrations and wonderful concerts.  The multi-language library got special praise.

All true, all things of which we are proud.  Also true is that the people who live at JCHE are brave and interesting and supportive of each other.  Each has a unique story, but almost all stories have some trauma involved.  It’s so rewarding to hear them embrace the life at JCHE and value the things we work hard to ensure—they know that aging in community is the best possible way to live and we will continue to make sure it remains available to all who need it.

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