This past year, we have shared the development and opening of an incredible housing venture in Johnson City, the Century Sunrise Apartments. We are so proud to have been part of such an important revitalization project, benefiting the community and the people who have chosen our organization to support their independent living. Century Sunrise has 26 apartments that are designated for use by people receiving services through OPWDD. Springbrook is the In-House Service Provider for the apartments. At the Century Sunrise Apartments, we offer Self- Directed Services, and if they choose, tenants can access an onsite Support Broker and a Fiscal Intermediary Coordinator.
Century Sunrise is conveniently located in the heart of Johnson City. A resident can easily access practically anything they would need by walking. For added convenience, the bus also stops right by the apartment complex. Each apartment building (Century and Sunrise) has a laundry facility for tenant use only. There are 24/7 on-call maintenance staff to address any issues tenants may have. There is also a common space which any tenant may rent out. Also, there is a common space for people receiving services through Springbrook which may be used for events, meetings, or just hanging out. Regan Developers has also partnered with local businesses and announced at the grand opening that the Binghamton Brewing Company will be moving into the retail space in the Century Building, expanding their business to include a restaurant as well as their brewery.
Unlike other Springbrook residential supports, at the Century Sunrise Apartments Springbrook does not provide 24/7 staffing. Residents who qualify for an OPWDD apartment use self-directed supports through Springbrook. With these supports, a person uses a life Plan and a creative team approach to craft a plan with their circle of support to best aid them living independently.
One such person is Nilsa, who moved into her new apartment at Century Sunrise in early summer. She moved into her first apartment independently in 2015. The transition to Century Sunrise was a little bit challenging for Nilsa. However, she was able to overcome these challenges with the support of Springbrook staff quickly. With the supports she has in place now through Self-Direction, Nilsa continues to be an example of happiness and thrives in her new home.
We were honored to sit down with Nilsa and have her reflect on her experience in her new apartment and what living at Century Sunrise is like:
Springbrook: Tell us a little about how you came to live at Century Sunrise, and how Springbrook was a part of that process.
Nilsa: I used to live on Cedar Street in Binghamton. It was not a bad place, but it wasn’t as big or as nice as this place is. Springbrook became a part of my life when I met [Assistant Director of Community Services] Hank and [SDS Support Broker] Grace, and I am really happy that happened. When I came to live in this apartment, Hank introduced me to Grace. I had known Hank a lot longer because [Care Coordination Manager] Esther, and I were looking for apartments where I could live [and Hank was helpful with that search].
Springbrook: What was it like moving into Century Sunrise?
It was a very easy process, but it was a little scary. I was one of the first people to move in here, and it is a really big space. Moving is always scary, but this was not a bad move for me. I really love the appliances. The windows are nice, and I really love my living room. The natural light is wonderful, and I have air-conditioning.
Springbrook: What is it like being in this neighborhood, and living in Johnson City?
Nilsa: I use public transportation to get around…mostly the BC Transit bus. I also used BC Lift [local ADA compliant ride program] when I worked at Thrifty Shopper, but I don’t work there anymore, so I mostly use the bus. I like to go shopping a lot. My favorite store is Kohl’s! I also like going to the dollar store, and I really love going to thrift stores. If I had to pick one restaurant to eat at, it would be Taco Bell. It is fun to go out and see the different stores and meet people. In the summer I like to take long walks and be outside. I also like picnics.
Right now I am working hard to find a job. Like I said before I used to work for Thrifty Shopper, but I decided to stop working there. I would like to find a new job soon.
Springbrook: Can you give us a reflection on your neighbors and how you feel now that you’ve lived at Century Sunrise for a few months?
Nilsa: I haven’t met too many people since I moved in here, but I have met the people who live near me in the building. I’ve met John. He is my neighbor across the hall. I’ve also met Lisa. Lisa lives upstairs. When the weather is nice, I want to socialize outside and get to know more people. Sometimes I feel lonely, but most of the time I feel very, very happy. I feel calm and safe here. It is nice to have my own space so that I can get away from people when I want to.
My life is a lot different now, but only in good ways. I am a lot happier, and my mind is calm and settled. I feel safe here, and that is important to me. The people who live here and the people who work here are friendly and helpful. This apartment is quiet and nice, and it is mine.
Many thanks to Nilsa for a candid conversation about how she found her home and Springbrook! Springbrook has an office in the Century building of the complex, which is accessible to all persons who receive services, making it easy for them to ask questions about the services they receive through Springbrook.
People who select Springbrook to provide Fiscal Intermediary (FI) Services and/or Brokerage services have the benefit of their FI and Broker in-house to address any needs they may have regarding their self-directed services. Springbrook staff are available in the office Monday-Friday from 8am-5pm to assist.
If you would like more information about the Century Sunrise Apartments, click here to inquire further!