CLEARFIELD COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) – The Village of Hope in West Decatur Tuesday held a groundbreaking event to celebrate the upcoming construction of Senior Living facilities.
The facilities will be designed for people who are in need of personal care, transportation, meal delivery, family members with disabilities, and much, more. The group is focused on creating a community with magic.
“Magic is an acronym for multi-ability, multi-generational, inclusive community. That’s what brings the magic to the community. We have learned over our years of experience in caring for aging adults, that it’s not necessarily the amenities that you provide them it’s the social determinants of health,” said Gary Smith the Executive Advisor for The Village of Hope.
The Village of Hope (VOH) is an alternative to institutional lock-down environments, providing a far more open, fulfilling, and healthy life at a lower cost. The Clearfield County Area Agency on Aging, Inc. (CCAAA) and Mature Resources Foundation (MRF), the original developers of the VOH, have decided to change the location of this innovative Community from the originally planned location of a decommissioned school.
This decision was made due to the placement of a solar farm surrounding the entire area on which the VOH was intended to be built. While the close proximity of clean energy to the original location was a benefit, it decreased the aesthetic value of the location. Additionally, there were issues with infrastructure development as well.
A more central platted location has been identified which includes infrastructure and additional ground for expansion. While this community will be supportive by providing access to needed services, the focus is primarily, in Phase I, on providing accessible housing. This is particularly important to Pennsylvania as the Commonwealth has a rapidly aging population.
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The drug epidemic is taking its toll on our communities too, as Pennsylvania is home to over 196,000 children being raised by their grandparents or other kinship caregivers. Of the nearly 90,000 grandparents serving in this role, 20.2% are in poverty and 25.3 % are disabled.
The age of rental housing stock in Pennsylvania is also of concern — Pennsylvania has the second oldest renter-occupied housing stock in the immediate region, following New York. Over two-fifths of rental housing units in Pennsylvania were built before 1950, compared with 24 percent in the nation as a whole.