Art of Aging: The North Penn Commons project

LANSDALE, Pa. (WPVI) -- Four non-profit organizations have combined to benefit seniors and the community with recreation, health and affordable housing in Lansdale, Montgomery County.

When North Penn Commons opens in the fall of 2016, it will boast 60 apartment units, a soup kitchen, a senior center, a senior services office and an expanded YMCA.

Russell Johnson, President and CEO of North Penn Community Health Foundation says, "People both in need and those who have resources will be able to come here as neighbors. There's no stigma with this campus and that was one of our major goals."

The four non-profits that will be offering services at North Penn Commons had all planned individual projects, but to save money they decided to come together under one roof.

Bob Gallagher, CEO of Lansdale YMCA says, "At the end of the day, it's really everyone who will benefit from it. It makes business sense what our project is. It makes sense to our membership. It makes sense to our volunteers, and ultimately it's going to benefit the community, too."

The project is getting a national award for offering recreation, health resources and affordable housing.

Bill Brown, President and CEO of Advanced Living Management and Living, Inc. added, "The rents are designated at a certain amount of money from a $190 a month to close to $700 a month. It's advantageous for our residents because it's like a one stop shop."

The Manna on Main Street Cafe will create built in volunteer opportunities and give those in need a place to eat and socialize without stigma.

Suzan Neiger Gould, the Executive Director of Manna on Main Street said, "People will not know why they are coming to North Penn Commons. They will come in the same door like everyone else. The lobby where the cafe will be located will be open to anyone to sit to use their computers, their smartphones."

And PEAK senior services will provide help with taxes, rent rebate programs as well as legal services and counseling. And something that's even more important.

"One of the things we talk about all the time especially with our funders is reducing isolation for our seniors and giving them somewhere that they can call home," said Katie Walker, Executive Director of the PEAK Center.

You can learn more about programs that help seniors in the Art of Aging section.
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