Growing Community at Marian Housing Center in Racine

Georgia, 74, has lived at Mercy Housing Lakefront’s Marian Housing Center in Racine for over twelve years. Prior to finding Marian Housing Center, Georgia had a mini stroke which drastically impacted her health for the long term. She spent significant amounts of money on medical bills, causing financial strain, and was looking for a more affordable home. After leaving a doctor’s appointment on the All Saints campus, Georgia just happened to drive past the property and felt compelled to stop in. Luckily enough, there was no waitlist for the property, and she was able to schedule her move-in the day she walked into the office. It was a perfect fit.

Since moving into Marian Housing Center, Georgia has surrounded herself with warm and welcoming faces. “I have a lot of friends here. We’re all different shapes, sizes, religions, the whole kit and caboodle.”

Georgia shares that she has also had great improvements in accessing healthcare, and she is particularly appreciative of the residents as well as the staff and supportive services she participates in. “I wouldn’t have had that if I lived in a home by myself. It would be very lonely. I’m so blessed to have good people here. They make us feel happy, secure, and they’re helpful to us.”

For the past four years, Georgia has maintained Marian Housing Center’s beautiful, lush garden. She had little experience gardening but stepped up when the previous resident who tended the garden passed away. Georgia is constantly learning about new gardening techniques. She has cultivated a space that Marian residents cherish. They enjoy the serenity they feel in the space, especially throughout the pandemic. “I’ll go out there and someone will be reading a book, just wanting to be quiet. There will be a group out there just chitchatting away,” Georgia notes. “There were three gals out there this morning. It just makes me feel so happy when I see that.”

This summer was special in the Marian Housing Center garden. For the past three years, Georgia has been trying to grow hydrangeas with no luck. This year, she has succeeded. There were huge, lush, vibrant pink hydrangeas for all to enjoy – “I’m just thrilled. That’s my baby this year.”

Georgia feels safe and at home at Marian, and she is particularly excited about the number of social events that will soon be starting back up. One of Georgia’s favorite social activities is the Coffee Klatch. The entire building is invited to enjoy a hot cup of coffee or juice, and the residents take turns making sweets to share. After a hiatus during the pandemic, Coffee Klatch will resume soon, and it’ll be Georgia’s turn to provide the sweets. “After the hour is up, sometimes people will leave, but there’s a group that likes to sit around and talk. I love it. I could do that all day,” Georgia says.