Julia Arroyo is no stranger to the kitchen. Not only does she love to cook, but caring for her husband, who has severe health concerns, requires a big culinary commitment. “I cook 5 meals a day – everything he eats has to be done freshly,” she explained. So, when the Thomas Merton Food Pantry delivers food to her community at Huntington Place, she’s always thankful for the extra help.
“They bring bread, fruit, veggies. When it comes, it goes quickly. We really use it.”
As Julia counts her blessings, she doesn’t stop at the carrots and cucumbers. Her apartment, the Huntington Place community and the upkeep provided by Connecticut Housing Partners inspires her gratitude. “The building is beautiful,” she expressed. “Every time I have something, even a light bulb, they fix it. They always have someone here to take care of it.”
Prior to Huntington Place, Julia and her husband lived in a two-story Ansonia apartment, but when stairs became difficult, the couple began looking for a home in the Bridgeport area where they had raised their kids. When Julia saw Huntington Place, she knew it was for them: “close to the highway, our doctors, our church…and out of the center of the city.” But there was one problem, the Arroyos were too young for the 62+ community. So they waited. As soon as Julia turned 62, they put in an application and were accepted. “We were so lucky to get our apartment right away.”
Built on 3.5 acres donated by the Town of Trumbull, Huntington Place represents the unique partnership between Connecticut Housing Partners and Trumbull to increase affordable housing opportunities for seniors of moderate means. Huntington Place consists of 40 one and two bedroom apartments available for seniors (ages 62+) earning 25% – 60% of the area median.
Thomas Merton Food Pantry is one of the Thomas Merton Center’s many programs aimed at serving economically disadvantaged people in Bridgeport. Their food pantry serves more than 500 families per month and has partnered with Connecticut Housing Partners to deliver nutritious and healthy food options — when overflow supplies allow — to Connecticut Housing Partners’ three elderly-only developments.