Yarmouth senior housing nears the finish line for first-phase renovations
YARMOUTH — The third annual Pumpkin Run on Oct.31 raised about $3,500 for the Bartlett Circle low-income senior housing complex.
The non-profit now needs less than $20,000 to complete the first phase of renovations.
The cost for the Phase I improvements was estimated at about $340,000, with nearly $232,000 raised internally. Efforts to raise $107,000 from the public for this phase began about 10 months ago. Upgrades to the 28 senior homes in Bartlett Circle were completed in September, and residents now have new walkways and lighting, and wider entrances.
Margaret Downing, president of the Bartlett Circle board, said she is encouraged by the fundraising.
"This is the most the Pumpkin Run has ever generated for a non-profit organization," she said. "We are very grateful for the help."
Bartlett Circle was created by a group of nine Yarmouth citizens concerned about their parents' living situations in 1975. Since then, the housing complex has been providing senior independent housing without local, state or federal assistance. Yarmouth Senior Housing, a non-profit organization with a volunteer board was formed, and until earlier this year, could operate on the project's rental income.
According to Downing, the first phase of fundraising was a community outreach capital campaign. She said in order to raise the last $20,000 for Phase I completion, there will be an end-of-the-year appeal to the community.
"We hope that people will think of us as they give charitable donations," she said.
In addition to the $3,500 raised by the Pumpkin Run this October, Bartlett Circle was also the recipient of a restaurant dining campaign that raised nearly $2,400. The Rotary Club has donated $5,000 to the cause and the First Parish Church held a benefit dinner and collected more than $1,000.
After fundraising is complete for Phase I, Downing said the organization will focus its efforts on Phase II. The second phase is estimated to cost about $300,000 and will include upgrades to the community building, parking spaces and green areas.
According to Downing, the second phase will enhance the existing community center so it can be an emergency shelter, if needed. Plans include expanding the space by 500 square feet and updating the kitchen and bathroom areas. A propane stove, heater, and generator will be included to ensure emergency safety levels are met.
"We want to improve the space for safety, accessibility, and to accommodate various community activities that will include other Yarmouth seniors," she said. "Throughout all the improvements, we will keep an eye on using the space as an emergency and warming station."
Downing said the second phase will move forward as funding sources are identified.
"The next phase will include a different approach, without public funding," she said. "We are grateful to everyone who has contributed and for Phase II, will apply for grants and seek out other funding sources."
How to help
To contribute to Phase I of the Bartlett Circle renovations, or to get more information, contact Margaret Downing at 846-9295 or visit Bartlett Circle.