Supporting Long Island Seniors: Helping Our Community Thrive Amid Rising Costs
“Even to your old age and gray hairs, I am He, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you, and I will carry you; I will sustain you, and I will rescue you.” (Isaiah 46.4)
Long Island is known for its quality of life; it is hard to believe that there are many people who must make difficult decisions on basic living expenses. Although inflation has eased a bit, the rising prices of food, gas at the pump, utilities, and of course housing continue to negatively impact a family’s budget.
Support for those in need is crucial for many families, especially our senior community. Our Long Island community has had a 25% to 30% increase in the senior demographic, leading to an increase of 65% of these seniors living in poverty. Housing, transportation, and healthcare are the top three expenses for our seniors. Your donation allows Catholic Charities to provide affordable safe housing to senior citizens, operating 16 housing facilities in Nassau and Suffolk counties, totaling more than 1,329 units.
Additionally, it ensures the physical, social, and spiritual well-being of residents. We would like to share some anecdotes from residents of one of the senior houses, the Bishop Ryan Village located in Hampton Bays:
Meet Dottie: Dottie has lived at BRV for four years. Unfortunately, right before signing the lease for her apartment, her husband passed away. It was more important than ever that she had a place that she could easily afford. Dottie loves the location of BRV since it is so close to church where she finds much solace and tries to help others to the best of her ability. She finds peace and serenity as she looks out her door and sees God’s handiwork in the beautifully landscaped property, deer, and cardinals. She is grateful and happy to have a coordinator who is very helpful and a property manager who is efficient.
Meet Michele: Michele has lived at BRV since 2017. She moved into an accessible unit since she has health issues and uses a motorized wheelchair. She learned of BRV while she was working in a parish social ministry in Nassau. She fell in love with the tranquility and magnificence of the site. With the help of her children, she decorated her apartment, making it even more exquisite and so cozy. Since BRV is close to the village of Hampton Bays, she is able to drive her scooter to the market for necessities and enjoy the local shops and festivities at the community center.
Meet Rafael: Rafael has lived at BRV for less than a year. He owned his own home in the Hampton Bays and always wanted to stay in this town. After giving his home to his daughter he was able to secure an apartment in BRV. He is a talented artist and has displayed his works all over his home and loves to share his work with his friends and neighbors who appreciate art. He says that BRV has provided him with the beauty and peacefulness he needs to inspire his painting. He is very grateful for the affordable housing provided by Catholic Charities.
Meet Mary: Mary has lived at BRV for over 20 years and she can’t believe it’s been that long. Being much younger when she first moved in, she was happy to live in a complex that was so close to a town that provided everything from the movies, grocery shopping, restaurants, and most importantly the church. She is now 88 years old and loves to sit outside with her neighbors and see the splendor all around her. She loves the community building where birthday parties and special occasions are held and the pastor of St. Rosalie’s even comes to the birthday parties to say hello to all. The whole staff goes out of their way to enhance the site, especially the landscapers! She is extremely happy to reside at BRV.
It is because of your support of the good works of Catholic Ministries Appeal, that members of our senior community are able to live in dignity and with hope and able to give back to parish ministry. Your generosity is an excellent example of your call to do God’s mission here on Long Island, “Even to your old age and gray hairs, I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you, and I will carry you; I will sustain you, and I will rescue you.” (Isaiah 46:4)
If you or a member of your family is in need of housing support, please call Catholic Charities Housing Department at (516) 733-7076