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Home, But Never Alone

With the community’s help, St. Francis Manor expands efforts to provide affordable homes for Vero Beach seniors.

The Manor’s 98 apartments are full. With a growing waiting list, the need to build additional housing units became a priority.

The Manor’s 98 apartments are full. With a growing waiting list, the need to build additional housing units became a priority.

Home. No matter the size, style or setting, “home” is a place where one can snuggle in and feel safe. Yet for some limited income seniors the ability to rent even the smallest apartment is beyond their financial reach. 

That’s why St. Francis Manor, a nonprofit senior community that offers independent living for individuals 62 or older with assets less than $25,000, is in expansion mode. The cheery yellow buildings with 98 efficiency apartments are full with 100 residents claiming 1750 20th Ave. as their home address. With an ever-growing waiting list, the need for two additional buildings is a priority. So is raising the $2,025,000 it will take to construct the new 18 one-bedroom units.

“There is such a need for affordable housing for seniors because the cost of rental housing has gone up and up while their monthly income hasn’t. As more baby boomers retire, many who never recovered from the last recession, that number is likely to go even higher,” says Louis Schacht, who with co-chair Maria-Elena Kitchell launched the “Growing Homes at the Manor” capital campaign with a groundbreaking early this year.