A Ludlow Story

Who would think that, after living for 62 years as a productive member of society, anyone would have to be concerned about housing after retirement?

Many seniors find themselves facing this very predicament. Too often, they don't only need to worry about possible declining health, but also about finding a clean, safe, and quiet place to call home. The end of the summer of 2017 marked the beginning of the end of those worries for many such seniors who applied via a lottery system for what can easily be considered luxury, one-bedroom apartments in Yonkers.

Linda, who worked for many years doing a job she loved, found herself forced into early retirement. Still in shock at being a retiree, she soon found herself evicted from her apartment because she was unprepared for the drastic reduction in her income. This new development in her changing life once again forced her to take on yet another unexpected title—homeless. In the wake of her new-found status, Linda travelled to Yonkers in the hopes of finding a new job and reasonably priced housing. This was not as easily accomplished as she initially thought. She spent many nights in a drop-in shelter, lining up at the shelter’s entrance at a specific time each day in the hope of securing a bed for the night. She was required to be out early in the morning, spending her days moving around Yonkers, visiting the library and other places that would accept her without much scrutiny. Through these long days, she wondered how she got to this place and what avenues she could take to get back to a place of normalcy. Linda dreamt about lying in bed until she felt like getting up, making food in her own kitchen, and many things that most of us take for granted.

One day Linda was informed about a soup kitchen that was available at a church on Ludlow Street. Dinner was served there every Wednesday evening. While visiting the church for dinner, she noticed an apartment building under construction next door. A large sign was posted on the property stating that a senior citizen apartment building was being constructed. Linda wrote down the information and began to hope.

Fortunately for Linda, her name was one of the first 70 drawn during the lottery selection process for senior housing at Ludlow Commons. If she met all the criteria, she would have a place to call home in a beautiful building that she had watched being constructed. She openly shed tears when she sat for her first interview. Though she had carefully completed the application and followed the instructions, it felt too good to be true. She had been through so much in the last year, but she finally allowed herself to daydream again.

When our senior residents began to move in to Ludlow Commons on December 8th, 2017, those daydreams became reality for Linda and for many other seniors who watched as 7 Ludlow Street was transformed into Ludlow Commons. They now have a place to call “Home Sweet Home."

Posted in Westhab Stories and tagged , , , .