Part of intergenerational programming that strengthens bonds between college students and older adults
Finding housing near the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities campus just got a little easier for college students. The Pillars of Prospect Park senior living community unveiled its Student Residence Housing Program, which allows students to rent a beautiful, unfurnished studio apartment (465-497 sq. ft.) in the newly constructed senior living community.
As part of the program, students will make a commitment to interact with The Pillars of Prospect Park residents for 10 hours per month through planned activities or casual socializing. This could include students leading an art class, music program or fitness program. Students can also engage with older adult residents at meals or social hours. The program runs through September 2021 through May 2022.
Students will have access to all of the amenities at The Pillars of Prospect Park, including a library, café, fitness room, dining room, salon, golf simulator, lounges and rooftop patios. Each studio includes a full kitchen, private bathroom and in-unit washer/dryer, stainless steel appliances, granite counters, and walk-in closets. The Pillars of Prospect Park is close to the METRO Green Line Light Rail and bus transit stops, making transportation easy.
Monthly rent is $1,000, which is comparable to area prices, and includes all utilities (except phone), basic satellite TV and wireless internet. Also included in the monthly rent are 10 meals per month in the on-site dining room. A total of 10 student apartments are available and will be grouped together in an area of the community designated specifically for student housing.
The Student Residence Housing Program is a new extension of the internationally recognized Intergenerational Connections offered by Ebenezer Management Services, the largest senior housing operator in the state. Ebenezer currently operates Intergenerational Connections in four senior living communities. Included in this program are opportunities for older adults to engage with children and youth of all ages to bridge the generation gap and create learning opportunities for all ages.
According to a 2017 study from Generations United and LeadingAge, the benefits of intergenerational programming are numerous for both students and older adults. They include decreased isolation, increased connectedness, increased feelings of worth, greater understanding of issues facing other generations, increased trust across ages, and increased sense of community. The most common activities enjoyed by members of the intergenerational programs are friendly visiting, arts, health/wellness, oral history/reminiscence interviewing and language/literacy programs.
“Through our signature cornerstone, Intergenerational Connections, people of all ages share their talents and resources, supporting each other in relationships that benefit both the individuals and the community,” said Sue Ferguson, Director of Marketing at Ebenezer. “Ebenezer is committed to helping bridge the generation gap and combat ageism one intergenerational connection at a time.”
The Pillars of Prospect Park senior living community, located at 22 Malcolm Ave. SE, Minneapolis, Minn., 55414, opened in May 2020 and is the first senior living community in the Prospect Park neighborhood. It was developed by Oppidan, a Twin Cities-based national property development firm, and offers 283 apartments with independent living, assisted living and memory care options.
“We knew the Pillars of Prospect Park was going to be unique from the beginning. Its proximity to the University of Minnesota allows special collaborations with university students, including learning, research, internships and career opportunities related to senior living and health care,” said Shannon Rusk, Oppidan VP of Development. “We are delighted to expand this intergenerational program and collaborate with the University of Minnesota even more to help their students find beautiful housing options.”
Oppidan has developed six Pillars Senior Living Communities throughout the state. Additional locations include White Bear Lake, Highlands of St. Paul, Shorewood Landing, Mankato and its newest community in Grand Rapids.