Catholic Charities Senior Housing Services Manager, Edris Segree, is working hard to build a sense of community within the Our Lady of Fatima I and II complex in East Baltimore. The Fatima I building opened in November of 2009 and Fatima II opened in February, 2011.
Ms. Segree says, “Feeling like part of a community is very important to our residents’ physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. As property managers, we help foster that sense of community and that’s a big part of what makes Catholic Charity’s senior communities so special. Our philosophy is ‘We cherish the Divine within’ everyone.” All our properties welcome people of all faiths and Catholic Charities is an Equal Housing Opportunity provider.
The community atmosphere is more established in the Fatima I building, so those residents are helping to welcome the new residents in Fatima II. There are regular bingo nights in Building I and the residents are setting up alternate bingo nights in Building II so everyone can get to know each other. There are also beautiful porches, equipped with rockers, outside both buildings so in nice weather residents can come out and “play,” enjoy the outdoors, and get to know their neighbors. Additionally, there’s a large labyrinth and open seating area between the buildings that’s used as an additional gathering space. When the weather’s not so good, there are bright, airy multi-purpose rooms, living rooms, and libraries inside the buildings for gatherings and parties. Even the laundry rooms have tables, chairs, and vending machines so people can get together.
The Health Suite in Building II will be opening soon, so those who choose to can see a nurse or healthcare provider right in the complex. Residents also volunteer within the community to organize activities and operate the building libraries. In the Fall, they will begin to operate the County’s Eating Together program to serve meals, provided by the County’s caterer, to one another in the dining room.
Ms. Segree reports that “the community is coming together,” and that residents “enjoy living here with fewer worries than they had trying to maintain houses, while still having the freedom to come and go as they please, and manage their own time.”
Both Fatima I and Fatima II are fully occupied, but the waiting list to get an apartment is fairly short. The waiting time to get an apartment may be as short as 6 months (it’s too soon to tell). All our properties welcome people of all faiths and Catholic Charities is an Equal Housing Opportunity provider.