A first of its kind senior public housing campus has opened its doors in North Minneapolis’ Heritage Park Senior Campus.
Serving more than 400 elderly public housing North Minneapolis residents, the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority (MPHA), developed the Thomas T. Feeney Manor, located at 901 N 4th Ave. Just south of Olson Highway, Thomas T. Feeney Manor is a 48 unit assisted living and memory care community for low-income seniors, ages 55 and over. A comprehensive senior services health and wellness center for residents recently opened at the complex as well. The Thomas T. Feeney Manor aligned with a 102 unit senior community called Heritage Commons at Pond’s Edge completes Heritage Park.
The unique initiative brought together several distinguished partners including MPHA, Augustana Care, YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities, Courage Center, Neighborhood HealthSource and the Minneapolis High-rise Representative Council.
The complex is named after Thomas T. Feeney, the long-time face of Housing Urban Development (HUD) in Minnesota. Feeney was head of the Minnesota field office of HUD from 1971 until 2004.
“It is an honor to join with the distinguished partners of giving the gift of dignity to some of the most vulnerable in our community,” said Cora McCorvey MPHA Executive Director. “MPHA’s Senior Campus provides an opportunity for us to respond, not just meet the needs, but to the aspirations of our seniors.”
According to McCorvey, Heritage Park Senior Service Center, which serves the residents of Thomas T. Feeney Manor, was previously the home of Sumner Field and Glenwood-Lyndale public housing communities.
“What happened in the early [1990s was] a major lawsuit filed against Housing Urban Development and the Public Housing Authority for concentration of poverty,” she said. “It was agreed to rebuild the community.”
Sue McLilly, who has lived in the complex since March 2012, previously stayed at Heritage Park, says the caregivers take care of their residents. They bring back my laundry, fold it for me, and make my bed every morning, she said. McLilly also uses the therapy pool to assist with her hip movements.
The therapy pool consists of a treadmill, and underwater cameras. There are only four therapy pools in all of Minnesota; The Minnesota Twins training facilities, the Courage Center, a small one in Duluth and now the Heritage Park Commons Center.
“People in North Minneapolis have access to a unique form of therapy that does not exist in many places,” said Bob Boyd, Minneapolis Public Housing Authority Director of Policy & Special Initiatives.
Other features of the complex include an indoor and outdoor community space, raised bed resident gardens, a library, café, beauty salon, exercise room, nurse station, social services and internet access.
David Copple, who moved to Thomas E. Feeney Manor in April, previously lived at Texas Terrace Care Center in St. Louis Park. He is impressed with his new digs.
“This is like a mansion. The spot is brand new,” said Copple. “The previous apartment was the size of my bedroom and I had a roommate. This is much better. Everyone is nice, the staff is friendly and the food is good. I cannot think of anything negative I can say about this place, which is hard for me because I am quite the critic.”
Thomas E. Feeney Manor and Heritage Park Senior Services were funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and grants awarded to MPHA by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. The project received New Market Tax Credit Equity, HUD Replacement Housing Factor Funds, energy rebates, support from the Hennepin County Environmental Remediation Fund and a grant from the Metropolitan Livable Communities Fund provide by Metropolitan Council.