Secretary Martinez to Lead 9-11 Remembrance

Monday, September 09, 2002

Secretary Mel Martinez invites all HUD headquarters employees to attend a 3 p.m., ceremony on Wednesday, September 11, the one-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks against the U.S.

The event, which will be held in the HUD Cafeteria, will be televised on HUD TV and webcast.


Using a broad mix of private and public support, including $1.6 million in Section 202 elderly supportive housing development funds, a Monroe, Louisiana, non-profit organization broke ground on August 22 for an innovative "continuum of care" senior village that promises to make a very big difference in the lives of some of the nation's poorest senior citizens.

[Photo 1:  A group of dignitaries at the ground breaking ceremony]

Front row, right to left: Booker T. Outreach Executive Director Esther Gallow, U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu, Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo, architect Jeff Williams, and State Senator Charles Jones.

Back row: AmSouth Bank Vice President of Community Relations Kevin Williams and Monroe Planning and Urban Development Director Gene Tarver.

The city of Monroe, in northeast Louisiana, is the third poorest U.S. city of those with populations over 50,000. Nearly 38 percent of Monroe residents live below the poverty line and 65 percent are over 60 years in age. And for the some 5,300 Monroe residents who call the Booker T. Washington neighborhood "home," life is even more difficult: nearly 21 percent have annual incomes of less than $5,361 and an alarming 71 percent of African American households are extremely low-income renters.

[Photo 2: Two posters with information about the assisted living/adult day care program]
The roots of the turn-around can be traced back to 1998 when Esther Gallow, chief executive officer of Booker T. Community Outreach, Inc., began discussions with the Sisters of Charity at St. Joseph's Home in Monroe about developing an assisted living facility for the low-income elderly residents of the Booker T. neighborhood. Those discussions led to what has become the Booker T. Washington Senior Village, a multi-unit, multi-phased residential development.

The Sisters of Charity contributed $57,000 for purchase of the 7.2 acre site for the village. The state of Louisiana approved a pilot program allowing Medicaid waivers for adult day care. The Louisiana Senate delegation produced two direct appropriations of CDBG funds to support the development. AmSouth, the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta, Community Trust Bank and the city of Monroe also committed to additional funding.

[Photo 3: Architect's sketch of the proposed Alzheimer senior village]

When finished, the village will include 28 duplex units of supportive housing, 20 units of assisted living, an adult day health care component to the assisted living facility with space designated for an Alzheimer's nursing care wing, and a child care center with a foster grandparent program. The village will be built in three phases over a five-year period. Phases 1 and 2 are fully funded, and upon their completion, the Sisters of Charity will operate the assisted living/adult day care and Alzheimer's unit.

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