Housing Unit Gives Low-Income Seniors Reduced Rent For Volunteering With Foster Kids

Bridge Meadows multigenerational housing development is a real win-win for its residents.

The Portland, Oregon housing complex is home to foster children and their adoptive families, while also providing reduced rent apartments to low-income seniors. The catch is that elderly residents must complete 10 volunteer hours a week with the foster kids and their families in order to qualify, PBS Newshour reports.

Dr. Derenda Schubert, executive director of Bridge Meadows says the development has created a "very reciprocal relationship" between the kids and elders, in an interview with Comcast Newsmakers. She tells the news outlet that while the seniors are able to receive housing security, the relationships they build with the children give the kids a greater sense of self-worth, helping them perform better in school. Many of the seniors have even experienced improved mental and physical health as well, she said.

"They are the reason we thrive," Jackie, an adoptive mother at Bridge Meadows speaking told PBS about Jim, a senior who volunteers with her son. "Jim takes the boys every Sunday morning for about three hours. And they come home excited, with all these wonderful stories. You see children running up to them and giving them hugs. It's just incredible to watch."

The residents of Bridge Meadows aren't the only ones aware of the positive effects of the community. Schubert has already been approached by Mayor Denny Doyle of Beaverton, Oregon to replicate the successful community in his city, according to Comcast. She told the source that plans are currently in the works to create the new development.



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