By: Jessica Montez
Homes are the starting places for love, hope, dreams, and where stories continue. It is with that feeling that Fayette County Habitat for Humanity proudly announces the Camp St. Cottages project.
Camp St. Cottages’ mission is designed to honor older adults by building a neighborhood where they can thrive—aging safely, independently, and with dignity and respect.
La Grange Mayor Jan Dockery said this project’s importance and purpose align with what is needed by many senior residents in Fayette County more than ever.
“I’m very excited about the senior living complex addition for our city,” Dockery said. “I’m equally thrilled that Fayette County Habitat for Humanity has taken on this very much-needed project to accommodate more affordable housing for our senior citizens. I look forward to working with Habitat for Humanity and hope that in the near future more affordable housing projects will become available for all citizens.”
Kenny Couch, executive director of Fayette County Habitat for Humanity, added, “This is a very important project for our community as it gives us a way to honor the men and women who helped build Fayette County into the community that we love while setting a standard for how we will be expected to treat our older neighbors in the generations to come.”
The Camp St. Cottages, whose site plan was laid out by Cutright & Prihoda Architects and the surveying and engineering were done BEFCO Engineering, Inc., will have a total of 10 Cottage units which will be 640 sq. ft. and ADA compliant. Each unit will be one bed/one bath plus a washer, dryer, and a full kitchen.
These units will only be available for senior residents 55 and older within the 30-80% AMI. Applicants must have resided in Fayette County for at least one year. Costs of the units will be on a sliding scale tied to the tenant’s income. Applications will not be accepted until construction is complete.
Off-street parking will be available. Along with paved, interior walkways to encourage activity and/or exercise. A Fellowship Hall will also be available for use by residents along with a gazebo and lots of green space. Plus with the Randolph Recreation Center close by, residents will also have access to all the programming and amenities it has to offer.
Patrick Caballero, president of Fayette County Habitat for Humanity, said, “Since the Harvey flooding and recent ice storm we come to realize there is a silent, almost invisible, set of county residents that live in less than ideal conditions. Many of these people are elderly and some don’t have anyone advocating for their wellbeing. Our hope is to not only give these people a safe place to live but to support them in a broader sense. As we move ahead we will partner with an ever-expanding community of service providers, private individuals, businesses, and governmental agencies to help secure this segment of our Fayette County population.”
One of those partners will be Combined Community Action. A Senior Support Office for use by Meals on Wheels and Combined Community Action will be housed on-site to bring their services directly to their clients. The office will also be made available to other nonprofit partners to serve Camp St. residents and the broader community.
Kelly Franke with Combined Community Action is looking forward to the partnership. Franke said, “We are very excited to be partnering with the Fayette County Habitat for Humanity on this innovative project. This concept is so new and different from anything we have ever done and it is thrilling to be a continuing part of making a difference for the seniors in our community.
“The impact this will have on the senior residents of Fayette County will be substantial, we are creating safe homes in a setting designed to foster engagement and connection among the elderly, things that are so vital for dignity and independence as our neighbors age,” Franke added.
As of now, Habitat for Humanity plans to break ground on the Camp St. Cottages project this December.
If you or your church or club would like a special viewing or presentation before the groundbreaking, or if you would like to volunteer with the Camp St. Cottage project please email info@FayetteCountyHabitat.org.
In addition, if you have any questions or would like to learn more about the Camp St. Cottages project Fayette County Habitat for Humanity will be having a public event to share the Camp St. Cottages project and answer questions from the community on September 10 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at the Randolph Center in La Grange.