Home Sweet Home

Senior citizens in need have learned to call the efforts by a local not-for-profit home sweet home. The organization Senior Home Sharing offers affordable and comfortable housing for citizens over 62 years old. It’s a program that offers more than just a roof over their heads.

Trudy Faga is the newest resident at their home on Eagle Street. She moved in about a year ago and immediately felt welcomed.

“I was living with my daughter until she passed on, and then moved in with my granddaughter in Indiana and really nothing was around,” said Faga. “She was always working. I thought I was by myself too much.”

Now she enjoys the company of her five roommates thanks to Senior Home Sharing. The group purchased homes in residential areas throughout DuPage County in the 80s and 90s to provide a place where seniors can thrive independently with their peers.

“My favorite part? Well it’s just a nice place,” said Olive Hadden. “I can’t find anything wrong with it. Everybody’s nice and the food is good.”

“Living with these folks is fine with me, because they’re fine people,” said John Silcox.

The Naperville home is conveniently located near the heart of the downtown area.

“The seniors can walk there and be about in the community,” said Angela Bentsen, Executive Director of Senior Home Sharing. “That’s a real big thing. We want you to be involved in the community and know the people that live around you and interact with them.”
“When my grandson comes to town, we go to Bar Louie’s for lunch and that is really nice,” said Faga. “I like it.”

A small group rents each house for an average $1400 a month per person, which includes food, utilities, and services. Each resident gets their own bedroom and share areas like the kitchen and TV room.

Unlike a nursing home, shared housing offers no licensed medical attention. Instead, a housing manager lives with the group and provides supportive services.

“Their meals are cooked for them, help with their laundry, someone to help them take their medication,” said Bentsen. “Just someone to share their day with.”

Residents like Trudy Faga say companionship is perhaps the greatest benefit to shared living.

“It’s wonderful I find everybody to be nice and I found my good friend here,” said Faga.

Senior Home Sharing has other homes in Lombard, Downers Grove, and Elmhurst. And as the group is observing its 30th anniversary this year, they hope to expand its program to more houses.

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