PRESTONSBURG – While many first responders were conducting a mock training drill at Dyno Noble in Allen, Church Housing of Prestonsburg hosted an appreciation luncheon on Wednesday.
“We wanted to do something special for our local firefighters, law enforcement, ambulance drivers and all first responders in Floyd County to show how thankful we are for their service to not only the residents living in our apartments, but everyone living in Floyd County,” said Jodi Collins, Administrator of Church Housing.
Currently Floyd County has four different income based apartment complexes – Church Housing, Martin Housing, Prestonsburg Housing, and Floyd County Housing. To be considered for an apartment with more than one agency, applicants must apply at each different agency. HUD (Housing and Urban Development) is also income based. However, applicants must find their own home that meets HUD standards in Floyd County. An application is also required for HUD.
Church Housing has three different apartment complex. Highland Heights is a senior community located in Goble Roberts. Highland Terrance is also a senior living community located in Prestonsburg. Cliffside is for anyone needing income based housing and is also located in Prestonsburg. One, two, three and four bedroom apartments of different sizes are available.
The luncheon was held under the picnic shelter, next to the community garden at Highland Terrace. First responders, Church Housing residents and staff enjoyed the perfect weather as they were treated to a lunch of BBQ, baked beans, cole slaw and cake.
“We value our local first responders; they respond very quickly regardless of the emergency,” Collins commented.
Church Housing is the result of several Floyd County churches coming together to fill a need in Floyd County. The pastor from each church, along with a lay person of their choice, serve on the board of directors. Lancer Baptist, First Baptist Church Irene Cole Memorial, Little Paint Church of God, First Christian Church of Prestonsburg, Community United Methodist Church, First United Methodist Church, Saint Martha’s Catholic and St. James Episcopal Church are all involved.
“Church leaders set aside their theological differences in an effort to improve the quality of life for many Floyd County residents that needed affordable housing,” said Bobby Carpenter, Board Chairman and Pastor at Lancer Baptist. “We have a family atmosphere and really care about our residents. We regularly pray for residents, especially if they are ill or experiencing a need.”
The luncheon was especially important for Collins. He worked as a firefighter in Lexington before moving to Floyd County over 13 years ago. He went to work at Prestonsburg Fire Department shortly after his move to Floyd County. He served as Chief of Prestonsburg Fire Department for the last 10 years of his employment. Although he is no longer working as a firefighter, he continues working with first responders through Kentucky Emergency Management.
“This is a wonderful place to live,” said David Potts, a resident at Highland Terrace. “I have lived here for about 10 years. Being so close to the grocery store, Walmart and other places I need to go makes it easier for me. Having other people of my age to do activities with also keeps me active and out socializing with people makes life more enjoyable.”
The group’s board of directors works together to approve different activities for residents and is continuously working to ensure every resident is happy and comfortable in their home. The board of directors consists of Kevin Jett, Bobby Carpenter, Jeri Williams and Jerry Meek.
Along with the board of directors, it also takes a dedicated and caring staff to ensure each facility runs smoothly and all residents’ needs are met. The staff that makes this possible includes Jodi Collins, Lori Rice, Diane Pennington, Sherry Akers, Kathy Spears, Beverly Williams, Robert Patton, Edgel Crum, Ivan Turner, Jennifer Phillips, Ricky Hughes, Doug Spears, Alex White and Jennifer Williams.
“Living around other positive active seniors makes life more enjoyable and I may not be a teenager, but I love to go out dancing, to eat to Bingo anywhere,” said Helen Little, a resident at Highland Terrace. “I just enjoy being around people and being active with friends. It is what keeps me feeling young.”
Carpenter presented a plaque of appreciation to Prestonsburg Fire Department, Prestonsburg Police Department and Trans-Star Ambulance Service.
Andrea Saddler is a reporter for The Floyd County Times. She can be reached at (606) 886-8506.