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Generations Housing Initiatives Receives $80,000 Grant to Help Older Adults w/ History of Trauma

Generations Housing Initiatives (GHI), a non-profit entity of The Habitat Company, is proud to announce it has won an $80,000 grant from The Jewish Federations of North America’s (JFNA) Center for Holocaust Survivor Care and Institute on Aging and Trauma. When combined with matching funds, this award will enable GHI to provide new programming for older adults with a history of trauma over the next year at Long Grove House, located at 2001 S. Michigan Ave., an affordable housing senior living community of 448 apartments in Chicago’s South Loop neighborhood.


Founded in 2016, GHI is dedicated to providing a variety of vital social service programs to low-income seniors living in affordable housing communities managed by The Habitat Company, a full-service residential real estate company specializing in property management, acquisitions, and development.


The grant will allow GHI to provide one-on-one counseling, health, and wellness activities to 150 Long Grove House residents with a history of trauma. In addition, the on-site property management team will receive intensive training on Person-Centered, Trauma-Informed (PCTI) care, which is a unique approach to providing services to a person who has experienced complex trauma by working through their strengths and respecting their voice and choice.


This is GHI’s second year receiving a grant from JFNA to help individuals suffering from trauma. Last year, GHI was awarded funds to support the almost 200 Holocaust survivors residing at two Chicago communities – Kenmore Plaza and The Pines of Edgewater.


“Having seen first-hand what an immense impact this program made for residents at our two properties last year, we knew we wanted to apply again so we could provide much-needed support and services for our residents of Long Grove House who have a long history of trauma,” said Cristina Vera-Hunt, executive director of Generations Housing Initiatives. “Providing services in a resident's most natural environment – their home community – has proven to be key to advancing a person-centered care approach to dealing with trauma.”


“The pandemic has shown what a difference we can make when we come together, especially for those older adults at highest risk of COVID-19,” said Mark Wilf, chair of the JFNA Board of Trustees. “The Federation system is humbled and proud to help thousands of Holocaust survivors, as well as other older trauma survivors and their families during their time of need.”


PCTI care is an innovative approach, spearheaded by JFNA, that promotes trust, dignity, strength, and empowerment of all individuals by incorporating knowledge about trauma into agency programs, policies, and procedures. Some estimates suggest that up to 90% of older adults in the United States have experienced a traumatic event during their lifetimes, which can affect them as they age. The challenges have become even more acute with social distancing and the threats posed by COVID-19.


This program is made possible by federal funds from a grant through The JFNA Center on Aging and Trauma, a project of the Holocaust Survivor Initiative. Approximately 75% of the project, or $60,000, comes from federal sources. Approximately 25% or $20,000 comes from non-federal sources.


This program is one of many extra services GHI has offered its older residents since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Through GHI’s efforts, more than 550 residents at three affordable senior housing properties Habitat manages were able to receive their first two doses of the vaccine in the comfort of their own building.


For more information on GHI, visit generationshousing.org.


About The Habitat Company:

Founded in 1971, The Habitat Company is a full-service residential real estate company specializing in property management, acquisitions and development. One of the largest residential property developers and managers in the United States, with over $3 billion in assets and more than 22,000 units under management across six states, the company’s portfolio spans a range of property types, from mid- and high-rise condominium, apartment and adaptive reuse developments to senior and affordable housing communities. Headquartered in Chicago, with more than 800 employees throughout the United States, Habitat is dedicated to improving the communities it serves through innovation and a commitment to excellence. For more information, visit www.habitat.com.

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