Apartment community to provide 52 new homes for struggling seniors


Volunteers help set up apartments for low-income seniors who have experienced homelessness. (Ivy Senior Apartments)

SAN DIEGO — A new housing community in San Diego is planning to provide permanent homes for low-income seniors who have experienced homelessness.

Ivy Senior Apartments in Clairemont, built by the nonprofit Wakeland Housing & Development Corporation, hosted dozens of volunteers Saturday morning as they helped set up 52 apartments for future residents. Company officials said volunteers from St. Paul’s PACE, an all-inclusive care program for the elderly, unboxed soft furnishings in each of the rooms and wrote personal notes to the residents to welcome them to their new homes.

All the soft furnishings, bedding, kitchenware and bathroom items were supplied by Wakeland Housing & Development Corporation and St. Paul’s PACE. The Allgire Foundation also contributed welcome home kits with toiletries, puzzles, playing cards and non-perishable food.  

In an effort to assist seniors with chronic health issues who are formerly unhoused, organization officials say the Ivy Senior Apartments will be one of the first supportive housing communities for seniors in the Clairemont neighborhood.

“One of things we’ve seen over the years, is it’s tremendous what that really means to the person moving into a place that’s completely set up for them,” said Ken Sauder, President and CEO of Wakeland Housing & Development Corporation. “If you think about it, they’ve been homeless and now they have something that’s all theirs and their own, and they know there’s a lot of people around there that actually helped bring that about for them.”

In 2020, one out of every four people who experienced homelessness in San Diego was age 55 or older, according to a needs assessment report issued in September by Serving Seniors, a local nonprofit that serves low-income older adults. The number is expected to rise in coming years as the Baby Boomer generation ages. 

A resident at Talmadge Gateway, one of Wakeland’s housing communities, spoke about his personal experience of living at one of the supportive homes and the impact it had made on his life.

“A volunteer donated this, plus put the showroom together for me to live in,” 75-year-old Bruce Carron said. “You learn to be grateful, and what you learn to do is get your self-respect back and your dignity.”

Ivy Senior Apartments says they plan to take in residents starting in early 2022.

For those interested in supporting seniors who will live at Ivy Senior Apartments, they are asked to donate here.

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