PONDSIDE—The Volunteers of America were considering selling the McCrohon House at 27 Burroughs St., possibly for condo conversion, until the city’s Department of Neighborhood Development stepped in.
According to the new buyers, Hearth, Inc., DND asked them to take over the home to preserve its 14 units of affordable housing. Hearth was originally founded in 1991 as the Committee to End Elder Homelessness, Inc.
Hearth closed on the house by Nov. 21, and helped relocate many of its tenants to make way for a much needed sprucing up and a new group of elders.
“They were moved to other facilities, including a couple of ours, mostly assisted living facilities, because many of them were getting older,” said Jennifer Hibbard, Hearth’s institutional advancement Assistant. “I don’t know if any of them will be moving back.”
On Nov. 24, with bellies full of turkey and trimmings, an army of volunteers from various JP churches and groups descended on the house with paint and cleaning supplies.
“It’s not going to be extensive,” said Hibbard before the work began, “but the living room is a lovely shade of pink. We’re probably going to change that.”
Neighbors for Neighbors, Center of Light and Accupuncture of JP are a few of the groups lending a hand, and James’ Gate, Ideal Café and Brescia Pizzeria will be donating free lunch for them.
“We’ve got more volunteers than we know what to do with,” said Hibbard.
The group is also asking for donations to help furnish the place. New tenants are currently being referred by the Department of Mental Health and Hearth’s own outreach program, which combs local shelters looking for elders ready for housing. To donate, call Jennifer Bonardi at 369-1558 or e-mail at [email protected]