The NOAH Project continues with community input
By Rachel Mendell
Residents and NOAH Project members met at the Galion Public Library to exchange questions and information Thursday evening, Jan. 24. Scott Hunley from The Showe Company was present to answer questions about the construction of Eden Place. Su Rowles, a leader of the NOAH Project, urged those in attendance to share their ideas, needs and wishes to help the group improve the plan for the 35 unit senior apartments proposed for the vacant property on 200 Church Street.
Rowles explained that The NOAH Project started several years ago in Crestline. The Faith Community in Crestline is the product of years of research and planning that focused on what potential residents needed to make them the most comfortable. The result is a group of homes that are always full, well kept, safe and friendly. Rowles explained that the homes were designed to make living easier as residents got older. The homes include lever door handles, lever faucets, no stairs, large doorways for wheel chairs and walkers, brightly lit living spaces, and easily accessible appliances. Managers of the community live on site so that any problems can be addressed quickly. The residents will also make use of community space, gardens, walking areas, laundry services, and anything else needed. The site was chosen for its closeness to shopping, library, restaurants and other needed services.The NOAH Project will seek federal funding and to that end the program will attain to meet the stringent funding requirements. HUD sends out parameters each year regarding income level and rent cost for the completed project. Rowles said the project is quite strict. There are regular inspections. The residents can’t be rowdy. The property must be maintained and will be the responsibility of the NOAH Project for 30 years. If these things are not done fines will be assessed.
The goal is to provide a safe place for emotional and physical stability so residents can be independent for as long as possible. Rowles said that they have heard reports from residents of the Faith Community of enhanced healing and an increase in the enjoyment of living.
Finding or creating affordable and quality housing for the older residents of the area has been a mission of Rowles and members of the NOAH Project for years. Rowles admitted that when she began the first project in Crestline, the group knew very little of what needed to be done. “But,” she said, “God told Noah how to build an ark. God gave Noah the vision and Noah built the ark without help from anyone.” And that is how the name of the NOAH Project came about. Rowles urged those in attendance to visit the Faith Community in Crestline and see first hand what can be done in other communities.
Many of the details of the plans for Eden Place were taken from questionnaires collected at the Crawford County Fair. Those in attendance at the Thursday meeting were asked to study the site plan, the floor plans and other details and to give the group their ideas of what will work and what is still needed. “We need you to help us on this project,” Rowles said. She added that information from the Thursday night meeting as well as next week’s meeting will be added into the final plans for the project.
Bruce Angell, a member of the board of the NOAH Project, shared the vision of the group. He related visits they had made to other communities, specifically in the Akron area, where projects such as these had re-energized the area. One such neighborhood was blighted and vacant. A builder created affordable, quality housing, and listening to the needs of that community, also built a grocery store within walking distance of the new homes. Other businesses sprung up as well. Another by product of the building project was that crime in the area went down.
Angell stressed that The NOAH Project is a not-for-profit community improvement corporation.
A member of the Area Agency on Aging came out to show support and said the agency is behind the project, calling it “a wonderful project for the community.”
The NOAH Project is also creating a faith community in Bucyrus and preliminary drawings were available for viewing at the meeting. The Bucyrus project includes 11 duplex universally designed units planned for the property adjoining the Orchard Park Assisted Living facility. A community meeting regarding this project is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 31 at 7 p.m. in the Bucyrus Public Library.
The Showe Company
The Showe Company is family owned and has been doing quality and affordable projects since the 1960s. Their philosophy: “Our team is committed to providing an enjoyable living experience for our residents. Our proven ability to create value and deliver quality has made us reliable partners. These qualities allow us to manage our community development projects and exceed goals set by local municipalities and regulatory agencies. Responsiveness and open communication is a priority and our hands-on management approach is fundamental to our success.”
The NOAH Project
The NOAH Project is a grassroots locally owned ecumenical non-profit organization. Our directors and associates have a strong belief in listening to mature adults regarding their interests and desired homes. That allows residents to lead more rewarding and enjoyable lives. We desire to provide more opportunities for persons 55 and older in years to come and that is why we continue to seek your thoughts for future projects. You are important and we will do our level best to provide opportunities for communities that you will want to call home. To express thoughts or to ask questions: the NOAH Project, PO Box 83, Crestline, OH 44827, Phone: 419–683-3700, email – firstname.lastname@example.org, website – noahprojectofohio.org