Franklin Miller loves his new home in Essex. Franklin is one of the residents of Town Meadow, the newest community by the non-profit, Cathedral Square Corporation. At age 76, Franklin says, “I love the people here and I can be independent. It is so important for me not to be a burden on my family. What I love most is that I have my own place to call home and in the winter, I can see the snow on the mountains.” As an avid square dancer, Franklin participates in community activities such as square dancing with the Green Mountain Steppers and Lake Champlain Squares and likes to play cribbage with other Town Meadow residents.
For Rosemary Stoddard, age 60, her fully accessible apartment has been a lifesaver. In March 2009, Rosemary underwent two open heart surgeries and says, “Little did I know that I was going to need the handicapped features in my bathroom. After my husband’s death in November 2008, I needed to find housing that was easy to take care of. I watched the building go up and the appearance and location really inspired me. I love the morning light in my apartment, it is secure and well designed. I walk four times a day and the sidewalks make it so easy for me to get around.”
Located at 22 Carmichael Street, Town Meadow Senior Housing offers the first affordable housing option for seniors in the Town of Essex with 43 one-bedroom and 5 two-bedroom apartments. The community is conveniently located by the Essex Shoppes and Cinema, Hannaford and the post office. The apartments have an affordable rent and rental subsidies are available to income eligible residents.
Developed by Cathedral Square Corporation, Town Meadow represents CSC’s commitment to serve the changing needs of seniors. Town Meadow is the 56th community that Cathedral Square Corporation has helped create. The design features, affordability and services at Town Meadow reflect the organization’s desire to ensure that seniors have a housing opportunity that is attractive, comfortable, affordable and fully accessible. “Our residents range in age from 55 to 100,” said Nancy Eldridge, Cathedral Square’s Executive Director. “We offer affordable and secure housing with services including: wellness nursing visits, resident activities, underground parking, and on-site resident managers. We want everyone to enjoy their housing and to have access to the services that they need to do so.”
Cathedral Square is an award winning, Vermont non-profit housing developer. “What we create is only made possible with the help of many funding partners, beginning with the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board” said Eldridge. “We were able to build Town Meadow with the assistance of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Town of Essex and the Vermont Community Development Program, Vermont Housing Finance Agency, Merchants Bank, Efficiency Vermont, Vermont Gas and Enterprise Community Investments Inc. It takes all this support to make this vibrant community a reality.”
The number of elderly Vermonters 65 years old and older is projected to grow by 38% over the next ten years. By the year 2030, one in every four Vermonters will be 65 or older. At the same time, the number of nursing home beds in Vermont will decrease. In the coming decade, seniors and persons with disabilities are much more likely to receive long term care in their home than in a traditional care setting.
Sabine Chabot, Cathedral Square’s Property Manager/Resident Service Coordinator for Town Meadow says, “For me, the best moment was the evening in late February when I left my office and on my way out, for the first time, I saw the lights on in a couple of apartments. This was a sure sign that Town Meadow had finally transformed from a construction site into a new home for our residents. That was such a good feeling.”
A community grand opening celebration is scheduled for Friday, June 5, 2009 from 12 – 3 p.m. The event will feature special guest speakers, a flag raising, tours of Town Meadow and refreshments. This event is free and open to the general public. Additional parking and shuttle bus service is available in the Essex Outlets.
Anyone interested in more information about the event, housing at Town Meadow or with other Cathedral Square communities is encouraged to contact our main office at 802-863-2224 or visit our website at www.cathedralsquare.org.
Refer to Page 4 for additional resident stories.
More resident stories
Vee Gordon, a member of the League of Women Voters for 47 years and a resident of Town Meadow says, “The ease of getting around is wonderful. I can take the Essex Senior Bus which is free and I am in proximity to everything. I swim at the Sports and Fitness Edge and my daughter who lives in Essex is just a quick walk away.”
On February 26, 2009, Beth Wilde, a native Vermonter was Town Meadow’s first resident to move in. Beth says, “I used to drive by the community every day and the Essex Senior Bus driver would keep saying to me, look how your new house is coming along. The views are gorgeous and the residents are all so nice.”
Family members of Town Meadow residents also see the benefits of this community. Dona Spaeth, the daughter of a Town Meadow resident says, “At Town Meadow, my dad can be independent again. His house was becoming too overwhelming for him. He can cook in his own kitchen and he doesn’t have to worry about the leaky faucet and mowing the grass. He can really enjoy his new apartment.” This sentiment was also echoed by Joanne Blodgett, whose mother is 79. “My mom is so delighted to be in Essex, close to family and friends. It was a miracle. This was how she wanted to spend the latter years of her life. Essex is where her heart is, she feels like she just won the lottery. She absolutely loves it and she knows many of the residents and she is able to get out to do her errands every day.”