NewCourtland officials have broken ground on a new $5.6 million LIFE (Living Independently for Elders) Center.
NewCourtland LIFE provides a range of healthcare and other services to seniors in Philadelphia with a focus on keeping them in their own homes and communities. The new LIFE Center, at 1900 West Allegheny Avenue, will anchor a five-acre development proposed to include affordable housing.
“By expanding the availability of housing linked with supportive services like LIFE, New Courtland, enables older adults to age safely and affordably with dignity and respect — as independently as possible, for as long as possible — in their own home or community,” said Gail Kass, president and CEO of NewCourtland.
NewCourtland officials were joined by community leaders and politicians during the groundbreaking ceremony.
“NewCourtland’s strategy to develop housing anchored by the LIFE Center in one of the most densely populated neighborhoods of dual-eligible seniors not only demonstrates its foresight and commitment to its mission, but dedication to revitalizing a blighted community desperately in need of affordable senior housing,” said Congressman Chaka Fattah, 2nd District, Pennsylvania.
“It is private-public partnerships such as this that not only bring much-needed development to Philadelphia, but create vital construction and healthcare jobs for all Philadelphians furthering our community revitalization efforts and strengthening entire neighborhoods,” said state Sen. Shirley Kitchen.
The LIFE model is touted for its success enabling seniors to avert and/or transition from costly nursing home and hospital care and back into the community where they prefer to live — at a significant savings.
NewCourtland LIFE currently maintains a 12 zip-code service area primarily in the Northwest section of Philadelphia where it’s estimated nearly 2,700 seniors are eligible for LIFE services. Of those projected to be eligible for LIFE, nearly percent reside in 19132 in the community surrounding NewCourtland LIFE at Allegheny.
“How poetic for us to be here today to break ground to build LIFE,” added 8th District Councilwoman Cindy Bass, Philadelphia, who joined others in donning a hard hat and shovel for the ceremony.
“I’m so excited to see this site which was once a bustling industrial hub restored to its glory as a symbol of progress, hope and the change that is possible when communities unite towards one common goal and in this community, that goal is revitalization.”
The project represents significant development in Philadelphia which NewCourtland achieved with the support of a variety of public and private funding sources including PIDC, PNC Bank, and $1 million through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP), now known as the Pennsylvania Economic Growth Initiative.
“PNC Bank is committed to building strong communities and create financial opportunities for individuals, families and businesses through executive leadership, employee volunteerism, and community investments,” added Ryanne Shuey, vice president of PNC.
“Our investment in the new market tax credits that made this project possible will facilitate economic growth by encouraging future market-rate development in the surrounding community along one of the largest vacant parcels of land in Philadelphia.
NewCourtland LIFE opened its first center in 2007 which it continues to operate out of Germantown House, a senior housing complex managed by Philadelphia Housing Authority. After experiencing record growth, NewCourtland opened its second center earlier this year on its flagship campus, Germantown Senior Community.
The NewCourtland LIFE Center at Allegheny is slated for completion in 2013 when development of the housing component commences.
Hazel Y. Newberry Clay was a school teacher.
She died Sept. 23, 2012, in Roanoke, Va., from lung cancer. She was 71.
She was born on July 15, 1941, to the late William Daniel and Emma Chavis Newberry. She was the youngest of nine children.
Clay received her undergraduate degree from Benedict College in Columbia, S.C. She began her teaching career in the Philadelphia and Chester Upland School Systems. She retired from the Roanoke Virginia Public School System.
She was a member of the national sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Inc., and formerly held the office of second supreme anti-basileus. She was also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and the Chums.
Clay was preceded in death by a brother and six sisters.
She is survived by her husband of 25 years, Samuel D. Clay; a stepson, Troy D. Clay; and a sister, Louise Pickett of Philadelphia.
Margaret J. Reitan of Annapolis, Md., and previously of Philadelphia, died Oct. 7, 2012.
She was 79.
She was born July 28, 1933 in Philadelphia and was the last surviving child of William and Ethel Hall.
Reitan graduated from William Penn High School and Anne Arundel Community College in Arnold, Md.
She was an artist and a former member of the Yacht Club of Cape St. Claire. Her interests included reading, shopping and spending time with her family.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Ralph E. Reitan.
Reitan is survived by her daughter, Janice Turner of Annapolis; grandchildren, Charmaine, Honey, Gina and Eric; and 16 grandchildren.
Services were held October 11 at John M. Taylor Funeral Home, 147 Duke of Gloucester Street, Annapolis, Md.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the American Diabetes Association, 800 Wyman Park Drive, Suite 110, Baltimore, Md.
When The Barnes Foundation recently relocated to the Parkway from Lower Merion, it moved close enough to inner-city schools to allow for their improved interaction with the museum and its holdings. And thanks to the collaboration between the museum and PECO, even more public school students will have the opportunity learn more about ancient Africa and other cultures.
The program, Crossing Boundaries, allows students from a dozen schools to visit the museum, while it infuses its offerings into a year-long initiative that officials hope will not only increase the students’ love of art, but also introduce them to various academic avenues and possible employment options in the technology and natural sciences arenas.
“This partnership came about due to the Barnes relocating to the Parkway, and we certainly wanted to be a part of that and bring the Barnes’ collection of world-class art to Philadelphia students and beyond,” said PECOspokeswoman Mellanie Lassiter, noting that PECO also sponsors other programs, including the museum’s “Free First Sunday” offering. Crossing Boundaries was open to all schools in the five-county area and to schools throughout PECO’s service area.
“One of the great aspects of this is that students have the opportunity to visit the Barnes Museum twice,” Lassiter said. “And Barnes [officials] visit the schools as well. It’s the cross-discipline of bringing art to the classrooms, so students can look at and study artwork from across the African diaspora.”
Baldi Middle School, Dimner Beeber Middle School, Feltonville Arts and Sciences Middle School, Hill Freedman Middle School, Logan Hope School, James Martin School, St. Francis De Sales, Steston Charter School, Universal Vare Charter School, Wagner Middle School, Warren G. Harding Middle School and the Wadsworth Academy are the area schools participating in the Crossing Boundaries program, and each classroom will receive free tickets, transportation and teaching materials.
Seventh-graders from those schools will learn about traditional African sculpture and the impact it had on European artistswho came after. Eighth-grade students will work with the museum’s ensemble displays, and will also focus on the Navajo traditions of storytelling and weaving techniques. Both grades will participate in two in-class sessions conducted by curators with the museum.
Students got a glimpse of the program’s offerings during a presentation last week, in which African stilt walkers and professional weavers displayed their talents and wares.
“We have, for a very long time, supported arts, culture and education, and this allows us to bring [those elements] to the students. The Barnes’ helps students gain an additional perspective,” Lassiter said. “We wanted to use this program to serve underserved schools, schools that don’t have art as an ongoing part of the curriculum, or communities that might not have the opportunity to experience the Barnes in any other way.
“When the Barnes was in Lower Merion, these students couldn’t really get there,” Lassiter continued. “We’re hoping that with Crossing Boundaries, students will come and experience the Barnes for the first time, go home and tell their parents, and then their parents come back on First Free Sundays.”
Frederick M. Drake Sr. was a correctional officer in the Philadelphia County Prison System.
Drake died Oct. 6, 2012. He was 65.
He was born Jan. 27, 1947, in Philadelphia to the late Rosa Drake and James Dessesaure. He was the eighth of 12 children.
Drake received his primary education at Saint Elizabeth School and finished his secondary education in the School District of Philadelphia. He was drafted into the United States Army in 1966 and served in the capacity of a sergeant. He was honorably discharged in 1970.
He married Mary Jane Hamilton on May 16, 1970. The couple had two children.
Drake loved his favorite foods including barbecue ribs, seafood and homemade macaroni and cheese. He enjoyed fast cars and sharp clothes. According to his family, he had impeccable taste in fashion.
“He will forever be remembered for his contagious and infectious laughter,” his family said.
In addition to his wife, Drake is survived by his children, Frederick Martin Drake II and Snow Edna Fan-Chon Drake; five grandchildren; five sisters, two brothers and other relatives and friends.
Services will be held Oct. 12 at Slater Funeral Home, 1426 Fitzwater St. Viewing will be at 10 a.m. Services will follow at 11 a.m. Burial will be private.