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February 18, 2000

Governor Announces Opening of Joliet Supportive Living Facility

JOLIET -- Governor George H. Ryan today announced the state's second supportive living facility has opened at Victory Senior Centre in Joliet to provide low-income housing to seniors.

"Senior citizens are in need of alternatives to nursing homes, and I believe that affordable housing, appropriate to seniors' special needs, should be available. Victory Senior Centre provides low-income senior citizens with an alternative," Ryan said. Operated by Pathway Senior Living, of Des Plaines, Victory Senior Centre was authorized by the Department of Public Aid under a federal waiver. The facility is located at the former Joliet Catholic High School site at 29 North Broadway in Joliet.

Last year, Evergreen Place in Beardstown, a nursing home wing conversion, was opened as the state's first supportive living facility. However, Victory Senior Centre is the first in the state to open as a "freestanding" structure under the supportive living program.

The supportive living program is designed to offer assisted living to the elderly, both from the private sector and those who are Medicaid-eligible. "With the passage of Public Act 89-499 and approval of a federal waiver, an array of services not routinely covered by the state's Medical Assistance Program can be secured for eligible people," said Ann Patla, Director, Department of Public Aid.

Supportive living facilities are designed for individuals who do not need nursing care, but who may find it difficult to live safely in their own home. Assisted living offers a special combination of meals, housing, and personalized supportive services designed to help individuals in activities of daily living. Residents participate in decisions that emphasize personal choice, dignity, privacy and individuality.

With 10 residents already moved in, Victory Senior Centre features 30 studio apartments averaging from 340 to 450 square feet. Each apartment features an emergency response notification system that is monitored 24 hours a day. In addition to daily personal care assistance, three well-balanced meals will be served daily in a common dining area. Health promotion and exercise programs are also available to the residents.

The owners of Pathway Senior Living LLC are Jerome Finis, E. James Keledjian, Robert H. Helle and Brian J. Cloch. Finis said the group orchestrated multiple financing sources in order to construct the facility. "I believe we are the first to combine affordable housing financing techniques with low income tax credits to build our facility. The Medicaid waiver under the supportive living program will then be used as payment for services to Medicaid-eligible residents at the Victory Senior Centre," Finis said.


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