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Reflecting on 30 years

Located 2 miles from Newark Airport, our Elizabeth apartments have served as out-of-town housing for pilots and flight attendants over the years.  Currently, United Airlines Captain Chip Lyon is in his 30th year renting a one-bedroom apartment in the building.  Chip lives year-round on a farm with his family near Manchester, New Hampshire in a small town called Mont Vernon.  Chip and his wife have two grown boys, one who lives near them and is soon to be married, and the other, a U.S. Navy fighter pilot stationed in Virginia Beach.  This son is married with three children.  Now a grandfather, Chip looks forward to retiring in the next few years and spending “less time on a tractor and more time on a boat” living on Lake Winnipesaukee with his wife of almost 40 years. Chip says his Elizabeth neighbors 30 years ago were “older retired folks and fellow airline employees from around the country.”  (When we bought the building in 1997, it had 7 apartments rented as airline “crash pads,” as the housing is affectionately known in the industry.)  Like most urban areas, the neighborhood deteriorated in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s as the crack epidemic took its toll and a more transient dweller moved in.  Chip states, “There was a noticeable change in the culture and an increase in the amount of crime activity, some of which was quite serious in nature.”  He describes recent progress, however:  “For the past 10 or more years, I’ve noticed a significant improvement, even a bit of a renaissance, surrounding the apartment building. I see many hard working Latino families moving into the area and making great improvements to their homes, yards, and neighborhoods.”  Chip threw in a good word about his resident managers: “Kudos to the Pineda family. They are from Guatemala, a place I travel to frequently and where I’ve learned to respect the culture, values and work ethic of those I see on a routine basis. Mr. & Mrs. Pineda and their family have done a very commendable job managing the buildings and running a tight ship. Their work seems never ending.” Chip is just one of our fine, upstanding residents, and we thank him for his thoughts and this lovely photo of him and his family on Lake Winnipesaukee.

Selfish Neighbor

Here’s the Inspiring Our Neighbors quote of the week: A man is called selfish not for pursuing his own good, but for neglecting his neighbor’s. -Richard Whately

Selfish Neighbor

Here’s the Inspiring Our Neighbors quote of the week:

A man is called selfish not for pursuing his own good, but for neglecting his neighbor’s. -Richard Whately

Kind act during the Holiday Season

Sometimes the opportunity to inspire a neighbor can come in any shape and form, especially during the holiday season, and you never know how much of an impact it will have.

Ahmed has a store in our building in Jersey City Heights. As he was changing the layout of his store in December 2013, he decided to donate old inventory to make room for new inventory. Among the items were toys, which were donated to a local church. The toys arrived at the perfect time; the church had not received enough donations for their Christmas Special Day and his donation made it possible for all the children to receive a gift from Santa Claus.

Kind act during the Holiday Season

Sometimes the opportunity to inspire a neighbor can come in any shape and form, especially during the holiday season, and you never know how much of an impact it will have.

Ahmed has a store in our building in Jersey City Heights. As he was changing the layout of his store in December 2013, he decided to donate old inventory to make room for new inventory. Among the items were toys, which were donated to a local church. The toys arrived at the perfect time; the church had not received enough donations for their Christmas Special Day and his donation made it possible for all the children to receive a gift from Santa Claus.

 

Simple but meaningful gesture in Montclair

Prior to our purchase of these properties 14 years ago, Thomas Peoples was a superintendent in one of the buildings.  He stayed on and – now 82 years old — is a rent-paying resident to this day.  He and his entire family were born in Montclair, and he retired from the Montclair post office after a 30-year career. He served in the army, going to Japan during the Korean War.   For the last 25 years, he lived with his wife and sister in the apartment.  Two years ago, his wife passed away, and last year he lost his sister. Now living alone and fighting diabetes, a visiting nurse and his neighbors see to his needs.  Margie Vazquez, our resident manager, stops by often and runs errands for Mr. Peoples. When he failed to answer his door one morning last fall, she called the office for permission to enter and check his apartment.  She found the apartment empty and later learned he was making an unexpected doctor’s visit.  His next-door neighbor in the building, Mrs. Roselle Bazille (pictured with Mr. Peoples), often brings him food and his mail each day.  His upstairs neighbor Desmond Tucker, a staff member at Montclair State University, helps him clean and do light chores.  Mr. Peoples often remarks that his neighbors are “so nice.” 

Simple but meaningful gesture in Montclair

Prior to our purchase of these properties 14 years ago, Thomas Peoples was a superintendent in one of the buildings.  He stayed on and – now 82 years old — is a rent-paying resident to this day.  He and his entire family were born in Montclair, and he retired from the Montclair post office after a 30-year career. He served in the army, going to Japan during the Korean War.   For the last 25 years, he lived with his wife and sister in the apartment.  Two years

ago, his wife passed away, and last year he lost his sister. Now living alone and fighting diabetes, a visiting nurse and his neighbors see to his needs.  Margie Vazquez, our resident manager, stops by often and runs errands for Mr. Peoples. When he failed to answer his door one morning last fall, she called the office for permission to enter and check his apartment.  She found the apartment empty and later learned he was making an unexpected doctor’s visit.  His next-door neighbor in the building, Mrs. Roselle Bazille (pictured with Mr. Peoples), often brings him food and his mail each day.  His upstairs neighbor Desmond Tucker, a staff member at Montclair State University, helps him clean and do light chores.  Mr. Peoples often remarks that his neighbors are “so nice.”

 

Inspiring Neighbor in Jersey City

One thing is helping a neighbor that you know and lives next to you, it’s truly remarkable to help a complete stranger.

Harendra Ikkurthi from our building in Jersey City helped a family with children find a place to live. Even though his own wife was in the last trimester of her pregnancy. He continued to help this family in need looking up information, speaking to co-workers and eventually got this family in contact with our Resident Manager. With this help, the family was able to find a home in time for the holiday season.

Inspiring Neighbor in Jersey City

One thing is helping a neighbor that you know and lives next to you, it’s truly remarkable to help a complete stranger.

Harendra Ikkurthi from our building in Jersey City helped a family with children find a place to live. Even though his own wife was in the last trimester of her pregnancy. He continued to help this family in need looking up information, speaking to co-workers and eventually got this family in contact with our Resident Manager. With this help, the family was able to find a home in time for the holiday season.

Helping his neighborhood during Hurricane Sandy

This week, the spotlight goes to Mathis Sharpless from our building on Gifford Ave in Jersey City. During the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Mathis was contacted by an organization to hand out $100 gift cards to help offset the cost of spoiled food. Without thinking twice, he went door to door and organized a group of his neighbors for them to receive gift cards. By the end of the day, he helped distribute over $30,000 worth of gift cards to his neighborhood.

Little acts of kindness go along way and Mathis showed what it is to think about your neighbors in a  time of need. 

Our Mission: Inspiring Our Neighbors

We provide rental housing for over 1,200 people, and our staff believes that housing is the most fundamental of needs. Almost all of our staff lives in our communities, and each morning we are there as residents embark on their day. We expect our residents to pass on to others the good service, good deeds, and acts of kindness we provide every day. Our staff works hard to inspire our residents so that they can inspire others. Like a pebble dropped into a pond, the staff’s deeds spread across our properties, to our neighbors, down our blocks, and into the entire region.