MINNEAPOLIS -- New affordable housing for seniors is helping to keep older residents connected to their community.
Sabathani Community Center just opened this 48-unit apartment complex to help address the growing displacement of south Minneapolis residents.
Senior homelessness is on the rise, and many are displaced because of gentrification or not being able to afford the homes they raised their children in.
"Folks have spoke loud and clear and told us they want to stay here, and we are going to go do everything we can to make sure they are part of this community," said Scott Redd, CEO and president of Sabathani Community Center.
The community center was founded in 1966 by African American members of the Sabathani Baptist Church to organize activities for neighborhood kids. Now, it provides resources for all cultures to improve their lives and this housing will help seniors maintain a presence in the community they love.
"I'm blessed because things could have been so different," Betty Murry said.
She raised her children in south Minneapolis and called her neighborhood home for 50 years. When she was ill, her son made sure she stayed.
"He had presented me a house after I had my heart and kidney transplant, and his words to me were, 'Mom, you are not living by yourself no more, I'm taking care of you,'" Murry said.
And when he passed, her future was uncertain until she saw construction on Sabathani Senior Housing.
"When I drove by I said, 'O Lord, that would be perfect, I could stay in the neighborhood, my church is still right down the street,'" Murry said.
The complex has 48 units with four reserved for seniors who are unsheltered. All are ready for people to call home.
"Making sure that our seniors are able to have an affordable place to grow and age well and in place without having to go to a nursing home out in the suburbs somewhere," Redd said.
Infrastructure bonds helped pay for the project.
Housing Commissioner Jennifer Ho wants to see more complexes like this across the state.
Sabathani has plans to build a 54-to-72-unit multi-family affordable housing on its campus in the near future.
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