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New housing at Mont Marie is welcomed

Date: 11/9/2010

Nov. 10, 2010

By Lori Szepelak


HOLYOKE -- For Eve Hamilton, 87, she finds herself "smiling all the time" since she moved into the new St. Joseph Residence at Mont Marie.

In late September, the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Springfield celebrated the official opening of the housing project. Construction of the low-income senior housing facility was funded primarily by a $4.3 million Section 202 Capital Advance from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The grant will also provide a three-year rental subsidy of $438,000.

The Congregation received additional funding from the Department of Housing and Community Development, City of Holyoke HOME Funds, Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation, and the Charles H. Farnsworth Trust.

"I'm happy to be here," Hamilton said, during a recent afternoon interview with Reminder Publications. She noted she is taking her time "settling in" and deciding how to decorate for the upcoming holiday season.

The two-story facility includes 30 one-bedroom low-income apartments for people at least 62 years of age with varying needs for supportive services. The Sisters of St. Joseph, co-sponsoring the project with Mercy Housing, designed the facility to provide housing that prolongs independent living as an alternative to long-term care placement.

All apartments are of senior-friendly design and several are also handicapped accessible. The building includes a community room with kitchen, a computer/sitting room, and a large courtyard for recreation.

The facility, at 38 Lower Westfield Road, sits on the east side of the Mont Marie campus overlooking the Connecticut River.

Hamilton loves her view of the river from her living room -- especially when she is relaxing on her loveseat reading a Danielle Steele novel.

"I feel safe and independent," she said, adding her neighbors are "wonderful" and she is making new friends.

St. Joseph Residence is Phase II of a multi-phase affordable housing campus. The first phase, Mont Marie Senior Residence, which opened September 2008, was primarily funded by a $6.2 million HUD grant and provides 49 low-income apartments for the elderly who require limited services. Both residences serve the public.

"As I've gotten older, I knew I needed a supportive environment," Hamilton said. "I love it here and my family loves it."

Information about applications for the residences is available from property manager Sandy Pelletier at 532-9356. For more information on the campus, visit

The Sisters of St. Joseph is a Congregation of 277 women who serve in dozens of communities throughout New England, Louisiana and Africa.

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