Wabanaki Partnership - Indian Island, ME
Penobscot Elder Homes: Aging in Community
Step into Penobscot Elder Homes and behold the majestic view of the Penobscot River through large windows. This river holds profound significance for the Penobscot community, one of four Native American tribes in Maine (collectively known as the Wabanaki). The river is also now the backdrop for 24 spacious apartments built in 2020 that provide tribal members safe and affordable housing to age comfortably within their island community.
Penobscot Elder Homes is the result of a four-year effort led by the Penobscot Housing Department, which collaborated with trusted partners, including the Four Directions Development Corporation and the Genesis Fund. Through Genesis, the Housing Department received funds from a USDA grant for initial planning. Genesis then helped to secure additional funding and facilitate project management.
“This is an example of what a strong partnership can produce,” said Susan Hammond, then executive director of Four Directions. “We worked closely with the Genesis Fund’s knowledgeable and connected problem solvers, to add real value.”
Penobscot Elder Homes stands as a remarkable achievement. Its residences provide tribal elders with independent living spaces, senior meals, and ample common areas for cultural events and social gatherings. They represent the dedication of the tribe, the Housing Commission, and their partners.
Genesis Fund has a longstanding commitment to supporting Wabanaki communities in Maine. We have worked in partnership with the Four Directions Development Corporation for over 20 years, providing technical assistance to secure resources for community facilities, including eldercare and affordable housing.
Penobscot Elder Homes embodies the vision of a vibrant and supportive community for Penobscot elders, and showcases the power of collaboration and community engagement.