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March 29, 2016

Temporary Relocation Creates Permanent Friendships

What began as the need to modernize a senior apartment building in downtown Frederick quickly turned into an inspiring collaboration that involved Frederick County government, local organizations and businesses.

Weinberg House, IHA’s senior facility in Frederick, required an elevator upgrade and the addition of several safety features to bathrooms in each of the 23 apartments. These safety additions included tub conversions, the installation of grab bars and removable showerheads.

To complete the work in the fastest, safest way possible, the senior residents were relocated for three weeks thanks to the generosity of Plamondon Hospitality Partners, Tranquillity of Fredericktowne, Community Living, and family members. The relocation was a significant endeavor coordinated by Interfaith Housing Alliance staff with tremendous support from the community.

The YMCA of Frederick County utilized their Head Start vans for transportation. Volunteers from On Our Own, Frederick Random Acts of Kindness, Potomac Case Management, Frederick Rescue Mission and Beacon House residents, IHA staff, family and friends all helped residents move out and then move back into the building three weeks later. Each resident also had a dedicated volunteer to assist in packing and unpacking.

“Without a doubt, the entire process would not have unfolded so smoothly without the generosity and assistance from many in our community,” said Patricia Motter, President and CEO of IHA. “So many gave so selflessly to make the transition successful.”

The residents appreciated it, too. Weinberg resident Donald Lyles said, “One word sums it up, excellent! The volunteers were courteous and had a positive outlook.”

The bonds that were formed over these few weeks will no doubt carry forward as the residents settle in back home. “The outpouring of support for our seniors was heart-warming,” said Mary Ellen Mitchell, Director of Community Relations for IHA. “These volunteers exemplify the spirit of community in Frederick, as our clients bonded with them.”

Both Motter and Mitchell expressed a desire to foster further connections between their seniors and the community.

For more information on how you can volunteer for a variety of IHA initiatives, please visit our Facebook page at Interfaith Housing Alliance or call our office at 301.662.4225.

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