Employee Charity Washington joined staff members and residents who call the community home as they celebrated their 50th anniversary at Martin Avenue Apartments. Housing over 9,000 residents since its inception, the complex neighboring Edwards Hospital began out of necessity for older adults needing independent living arrangements.
History of the Martin Avenue Apartments
“It was actually a coalition of churches that got together, and were looking for a way to keep seniors in the Naperville community and provide affordable housing, and in 1973, Martin Avenue Apartments opened its doors to the first 120 residents that we had,” said Naperville Elderly Homes Executive Director Mary Kerbs.
The senior residential facility has been a mainstay in the Naperville community, making it one of the oldest facilities for subsidized living in DuPage County. The need for it has only become more evident over time, with 38 percent of DuPage County residents struggling with finding affordable housing according to Martin Avenue Apartments. Recent construction of a new wing was added to counter the problem.
“We were able to build a new five-story building and add nearly 70 apartments that came on in late 2020, and now we’re home to over 200 residents,” said Kerbs.
Naperville Elderly Homes makes renovations to facilities
The renovations in 2020 meant Martin Avenue could open its doors to those on its lengthy waiting list at a subsidized rate. The average monthly rate is $483 per month, which lifts the financial burden as housing costs are one reason for senior homelessness. Giving people a home is something that Kerbs thinks is the best thing they can do for elderly residents.
“What’s really amazing is, you know, it is for lower-income seniors, and rents are so affordable, and we offer programs and services. Their lives have been changed, and they’ve been able to live fulfilling lifestyles and not worry about where their next meal is coming from and all those sorts of things,” said Kerbs.
The apartments have served its elderly population for the last half-century, and they hope to continue doing so by giving more residents a roof over their heads.
“My favorite part is being able to tell somebody that we have a unit available for them and to bring them a home and I mean that means something different for different people, obviously, but some people don’t have a home, and so to be able to give that to them is amazing,” said Martin Avenue Apartments Staff Member Charity Washington.
*Statistics provided by Martin Avenue Apartments
Have a story idea? We’d like to hear from you!