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New Apartments For Rochester's East Side

By next year at this time, there should be a new 3-story apartment building on Alexander Street, across from Monroe High.

"It's fantastic. These projects are so difficult; it's just great to have a day of celebration."

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Greg Soehner of East House spoke at Wednesday’s groundbreaking ceremony. Half of the 60 apartments will be for rent, the other half will be licensed treatment apartments for people in recovery with mental illness. They'll have around the clock staff assistance if needed. Many will come from group homes.

"Not just moving into the community, but quality, affordable places they can call home," said Soehner.

East House worked with Pathstone to develop this project. Senior VP of Housing Monica McCullough says this is part of a movement to get people out of group homes and into their own apartments. They can live and feel more independent, with support.

"So, moving that individual from that bedroom, or even in some cases, sharing bedrooms to having your own apartment, your own space, provides a much better base for individuals to work through health issues, mental health issues, just like, for anybody else."

Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle told WXXI he found the pairing of the non-profits, East House and Pathstone, inspiring.

"Rochester's great for its ability to collaborate and bring many people together on behalf of meeting a goal and I think we're doing that all the time and this is another great example of that."

Several state agencies that provide care for people with special needs helped finance the new apartment house.

Morelle added, "You've got two great agencies in our community, East House and Pathstone to develop this housing program for people who face mental illness, supportive housing for folks who have had challenges in their lives and need this kind of support."

The legislator from Irondequoit says he expects we'll see more projects like this thanks to state regional economic development money awarded to this area.

Lenny Skrill, upstate director for Capital Development for NYS Housing Renewal agrees.

"We have a very, very high level of capacity to do affordable housing in this community. As a result, we probably do more affordable housing in the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Council geography than any other place in the state per capita."

Construction crews are at work, taking advantage of the weather. The apartments could open by next fall.

Brad Smith won the Cortland County (NY) spelling bee as a seventh grader from Homer High, in a championship broadcast live on local radio. Brad’s been trying to relive the “magnificent” (winning word) moment ever since.
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