In New York City’s affordable housing crisis, one group is often forgotten: seniors.
The story of Dale Evans is similar to many other seniors today. He didn’t grow up in poverty, but ended up homeless after trying to care for his wife.
“I got poor because my wife had a progressive illness and as you know chronic illnesses can wipe you out financially,” Evans said.
Fortunately, he found out about Project Find and the senior center at the Woodstock Hotel.
The organization connects seniors with the services they need to live independently in Manhattan and provides housing at four different locations.
“Project Find, to me, has been the difference between still being homeless and broke and being able to achieve normalcy again,” Evans said.
Next year, Project Find will be able to help a few more seniors and provide those they already serve with some upgraded amenities. On Wednesday, the organization hosted a tour of the Penthouse floor that will include 10 new homes for seniors in need, as well as a rooftop terrace overlooking Times Square.
“I’m always moved by what people manage to do with their lives given just a little bit of assistance and it inspires me,” said David Gillcrist, executive director of Project FIND.
The expansion means that Project Find will be able to house almost 300 seniors at the Woodstock Hotel.
The improvements are possible thanks to a partnership with the city’s Department for the Aging and the office of Housing Preservation and Development. HPD Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer says it’s part of the Mayor’s plan to add 300,000 affordable housing units to the city by 2026, 10 percent of those homes will serve seniors.
“The mayor has made a huge commitment to make sure that the housing plan devotes the energy, the resources, so that we can house seniors in the city in a way that they have affordable homes, safe homes, decent homes, places to age in place so that they can continue to call the city their own,” Torres-Springer said.
After all, they helped build many of those neighborhoods in the first place.