Friday, September 27th dawned picture perfect, just the right sunny, autumn weather for the Sisters of Providence Grand Opening of Hillside Residence. The attractive new building features 34 affordable rental units plus two units dedicated for respite care. Its innovative program is designed for frail elders whose healthcare needs will be met through the Mercy LIFE (PACE) program situated on the same campus.
Sisters of Providence President Kathleen Popko’s welcome to the day’s approximate 125 guests reflected the feelings of all Sisters of Providence when she said, “How good it is be here on this joyful day, a day of new beginnings!”
Taking part in the Congregational Ribbon Cutting Ceremony were (from left) Sisters Ruth McGoldrick, Mary Angela Haggerty, Madeleine Joy, Joan Manning, Mary Caritas Geary, Kathleen Popko, Mary Martin de Porres Grisé, Elizabeth Oleksak, Constance O’Brien, Mary Cecilia Vallee, Geraldine Noonan and Julie Crane.
Hillside Residence is expected to demonstrate the benefits of bringing together two existing private, not-for-profit organizations—Hillside Residence and Mercy LIFE—to offer comprehensive healthcare and affordable housing to serve frail, low-income elders.
Sister Kathleen noted, “We are able to bless and open this wonderful new facility and its exciting new program because people from various sectors of state and local government, foundations and community funding groups, and persons in the private sector, our contractors, and tradespeople persisted doing the hard work and collaborating to make it happen.”
She added, “At a time when seeds of discord are growing in our country, it is good to witness the fruits of a more collaborative approach, one that seeks the common good of the communities we serve. Through our collective efforts, we now can provide at Hillside Residence an innovative program of health-integrated, safe, secure comfortable housing for frail elders, designed to keep them independent, healthy, engaged and enjoying a quality of life not feasible if they had been placed in a nursing home.”
The project was funded by both public and private entities and able to proceed with State/Federal monies including from the Housing Stabilization Fund, National Housing Trust Fund, Housing Innovation Fund Program, and Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP) Project-based subsidies.
In addition to the Sisters of Providence, private funds included a grant from The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation and the West Springfield Community Preservation Act Commission. “We are ever grateful for their generosity and for trusting that we would accomplish what we promised to do,” said Sister Kathleen.
Hillside Residence is located at 100 Hillside Circle, off Riverdale Street, in West Springfield. Mercy LIFE is in the de Paul Center at 200 Hillside Circle.