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Salvation Army breaks ground on new residences for low-income seniors in Ogden

By Rob Nielsen - | May 17, 2024
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Local and regional Salvation Army officials break ground on the Silvercrest Senior Residence in Ogden on Thursday, May 16, 2024.
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A rendering of the 52-unit Silvercrest Senior Residence being built by the Salvation Army's Ogden Corps. Ground was broken on the residence Thursday, May 16, 2024.

OGDEN — After more than three years of gathering capital and support, dirt is turning on a long-sought project to house low-income seniors.

Thursday morning, local and regional Salvation Army officials broke ground on the 52-unit Silvercrest Senior Residence on the Salvation Army’s Ogden campus near downtown.

According to a press release on the project, the building will offer subsidized housing for seniors age 62 and older.

“The project will consist of 52 one-bedroom apartments, each with a kitchen, bath, and comfortable living quarters to encourage independent living,” the release said. “The senior residence fills a critical need for housing for low-income seniors. Residents pay only 30 percent of their income for housing, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) pays the difference.”

The release added that several amenities will be available to residents.

“Various amenity spaces have been incorporated into the design to accommodate such on-site activities as case management/service coordination, social gatherings, recreational activities, and educational workshops. These spaces include two private offices (property manager and service coordinator), seven open lounge areas, a large community room, a library, a wellness room, an exercise room, a private gathering room, a laundry room, a garden area with raised planter boxes for tenants, and an outdoor patio.”

Among the speakers at Thursday’s groundbreaking was Susan Lawrence, executive director of the Salvation Army’s Silvercrest Management, who said there are several similar residences across the country.

“The (LA-based) territory owns 34 HUD-funded affordable housing properties called Silvercrest,” she said. “We have 34 of them in nine different states. We house over 3,000 seniors, which equates to over 1 million nights of shelter just for our Silvercrest program.”

She said this is the first new Silvercrest property to be built in the region since 2006.

Capt. Jacob Bratton, the Salvation Army’s Ogden Corps officer, told the Standard-Examiner the Ogden Corps pursued the project because of a growing need in the community.

“We did a feasibility study and we determined that housing, obviously, in Ogden is seriously needed and that the elderly and low-income (housing) is extremely needed,” he said. “We pushed forward to start building this project, and it’s been four years in the making and we finally got to it.”

Maj. Nesan Kistan, Salvation Army Intermountain Division commander, said building a new residence like this is a huge step for the charitable organization in carrying out its ongoing mission.

“We have always existed to help those in need,” he said. “The vulnerable in our community, our older people, need our support. One of the biggest challenges for the older generation — as we get older, our bodies age. … We struggle to move, but more importantly, we lose community. As we get older, those that we love, those that we appreciate, those individuals that we value — they seem to fade away out of our lives.

“This Silvercrest that’s going to happen right behind me is a place to create community. It’s a place where we help those that are vulnerable in our community find hope again and have a community in their last days of life to celebrate and enjoy their life, and to have friendships and to bridge the gap of one of the biggest challenges our society faces, which is social isolation.”

Bratton said Thursday was an exciting day given the amount of time it took to get there.

“I’m excited to be here today to get to do the groundbreaking and know that the wheels are rolling,” he said.

Construction is expected to take 18 months.

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