Podcast: Bethany Previews Thursday Night ‘Celebration of Innovation and Integration’

Bethany Community Services’ proposed “Merrimack Place,” a 62-unit apartment complex in downtown Haverhill. (Courtesy rendering.)

As Bethany Communities moves forward with plans to build 62 affordable apartments for seniors, the nonprofit is previewing the future with its “Celebration of Innovation and Integration” this Thursday.

Bethany Communities was recently granted federal and state low-income housing tax credits and subsidies to build “Merrimack Place” adjacent to Merrivista on Water Street. Of the 62 apartments, 54 are intended for seniors earning less than 60% of the area median income with eight units further restricted for seniors earning less than 30% of area median income. Bethany Community Services Director of Development and Community Relations Beth Morrow recently told WHAV listeners about some of the extras.

“Part of the new building is going to include a community space and an activity space that will be designed to start to look at the innovations that are coming along in the future, as well as a wellness center, so we are excited about offering that. And, by having the two buildings connected, all of our residents will be able to take advantage of the library, hair salon, dining room and other supportive services that we have to offer,” she said.

Morrow said fundraising for the project started in 2019, but slowed down last year due to the pandemic. Getting back on track, this Thursday’s dinner and panel discussion takes place, beginning with a cocktail hour at 5:30 p.m., at Bradford Country Club. The panel discussion will be chaired by former Haverhill Mayor John J. Guerin and panelists include attorney and City Councilor Thomas J. Sullivan, HC Media Director of Operations for Matt Belfiore, Pentucket Bank Vice President of Marketing and Community Relations Leanne Petrou and Benchmark Senior Living Community Relations Specialist Sarah Coletti. Morrow told listeners what they can expect.

“Those folks are going to get together and sort of imagine what seniors are going to need moving forward. Part of the principle of that is sort of the Jetson theory, as we’ve been talking about. Back in the 1960s the ‘Jetsons’ imagined things like telehealth and video conferencing that we been just living by for the past 15 or 18 months. So, we are going to try project into the future and see what the future for seniors will look like.”

Tickets for the Bethany Communities “A Celebration of Innovation and Integration” are $99 per person and may be purchased online at bethanycommunities.org.

Besides WHAV.net, WHAV’s “Merrimack Valley Newsmakers” podcasts are available via Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, Google Podcasts, TuneIn and Alexa.

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