A Community Called Home


Bronx native Lenny, 67, experienced years of housing insecurity. VOA-GNY’s East Clarke Place Senior Residence finally provided him a home.

Lenny, who graduated from Lehman College with an accounting degree and enjoyed a long and varied career, never expected to find himself sleeping on the subway at age 55. But that’s exactly what happened when he lost his job, followed by his apartment. He continued working while homeless, picking up security work and odd jobs until, after three years of sleeping on subways, Lenny moved into a shared Brooklyn apartment he found through an affordable housing program.

One day, his caseworker told him about a new residence for older adults being constructed near his old neighborhood in the Bronx. In fact, the building was just four blocks from where his mother lives. In 2021, Lenny became one of the first residents to move into East Clarke Place.

After moving in, Lenny was able to retire to take care of his mother, now 93. He often brings her to East Clarke Place to enjoy activities with the other residents: summer barbecues, card games, movie nights, and more.

“It’s a good thing for seniors to be around other seniors,” he says. “It’s a wonderful thing to have that and know that you’re not alone.”

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