A home for the golden years

Edward loves his apartment in Catholic Charities’ Visitation Place, his home the last few months.

“When I moved in here, I didn’t have anything. Now I have a queen bed,” he exclaimed. “With my small self I can roll over twice!”

Edward, 72, came to his apartment after staying at Catholic Charities’ St. Christopher Place. There, he had his own room but used a shared kitchen and bathroom.

“I love the freedom and security here,” he said. “I have room to walk and I can go to more than one room.”

With his age, COPD and back problems, it was time for Edward to retire, but his financial situation couldn’t keep up. Affordable apartments can be difficult to come by, the vacancy rate for apartments in St. Paul is less than two percent. Before he went to St. Christopher Place he was staying at a friend’s apartment. Every month, he called St. Christopher Place, seeing if there was any space available.

“It’s very difficult, especially if you’re on a fixed income, to find an affordable place to live,” he said.

Now, Edward can sit in his chair by the window and watch children play in the courtyard. He can listen to his favorite music—Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra and the Temptations— and he can get up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night without having to leave his apartment. He’s considering getting a little herb garden to put in his window since he always loved to garden.

“Home is supposed to be a place of peace and serenity,” he said. In his own apartment, he said he has found that again.

“I think this is going to be my final home,” he said. “It fits me. It’s peaceful.”

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