Elder-Aid in Bryan College Station offers services and rental housing to the elderly 60 years of age and older in the area. The services offered included transportation, emergency financial assistance, helping elders sign up for the Energy Assistance Program, and many others.
The housing provided by Elder-Aid is funded through federal home funds that flow down through B/CS area, according to Carol Jones, executive director of Elder-Aid. The houses are built with the elderly in mind by including wide doorways and wheelchair accessible vanity and shower. Elder-Aid has built 20 houses in Bryan and 4 duplexes in College Station.
To commemorate the new house built in Bryan, the organization dedicated the house to Mary Gibson, a volunteer case manager who has logged more than 9000 hours during the past six years.
“I’m very humbled and speechless [by this dedication],” says Gibson. “I lost everything in 2004, but I went to volunteer with Elder-Aid six years ago and realized how blessed I was. My work with Elder-Aid has given me a feeling of being worth wild again and I love every minute of it.”
During the ribbon cutting ceremony, Elder-Aid staff and board members, city officials, and friends and family of the new tenant gathered in the driveway to honor Gibson’s commitment to serving the Brazos Valley and to speak about Elder-Aid’s mission for the elderly in the area to remain independent and a part of the community for as long as possible.
The elderly population is one of the fastest growing demographics in the B/CS area, according to Debbie Eller, community development director of College Station. With such limited affordable housing for the elderly in both cities, Elder-Aid is important to fulfilling housing needs in the community.
“With the city of Bryan, my role is to work with community housing projects and working with our non-profit partners, such as Elder-Aid,” says Eric Barton, construction specialist for City of Bryan’s Planning and Development board. “Because Elder-Aid works directly with the elderly, it has made a great benefit for them to find decent, affordable housing.”
The tenant of this new house is Bryan resident Martin Wise, Jr. He has used Elder-Aid’s services in the past to afford medication and maintain a standard of living. He says he looks forward to moving into his new home.
“I did not anticipate on getting a house this soon,” says Wise. “It just enriches my life … I look forward to the simplicity of it all and encouraging people by showing them what God did for me, that he can do that for them also.”
The generosity of Elder-Aid has encourage Wise to save materials, such a crutches and canes that he used post-surgery, and donate them for other elderly people who might need them.
“Elder-Aid is a vital part of our community,” says Karl Mooney, mayor of College Station. “I may be standing in Bryan right now, but it really is two cities, one community. Elder-Aid is working on some projects in College Station and the more we can do to show our support to organizations like this that assist our elderly, the better our community is for it.”