Theresa Dooley, a resident of St. John Neumann Place I in South Philadelphia, shows off a freshly cooked Thanksgiving meal delivered to her door Nov. 23. Due to COVID, residents of the archdiocesan senior housing complex received individual meal deliveries in lieu of the large communal Thanksgiving meal they normally enjoy. (Photo by Caroline Morgan)

Some 130 seniors in South Philadelphia got a head start on Thanksgiving with a Nov. 23 meal hosted by archdiocesan Catholic Housing and Community Services (CHCS).

Residents of the St. John Neumann Place (SJNP) and St. John Neumann Place II (SJNPII) affordable housing communities enjoyed individually packaged Thanksgiving meals delivered door-to-door by CHCS staff.

Residents of the two housing complexes normally sit down to a large communal Thanksgiving meal. Although COVID-19 precautions prevented this year’s gathering, but not the usual array of freshly cooked turkey, sides and desserts, served with warm smiles by the agency’s team.

CHCS provides a continuum of care to the region’s older adults through activity centers, in-home support and affordable housing.

SJNP I and II are one of several senior housing communities operated by the agency. The buildings, which respectively consist of 52 and 75 one-bedroom apartment units, feature full-time, on-site social service coordinators, 24-emergency call services for building issues and a large wellness center.

The agency’s other communities in Philadelphia include Casa Carmen Aponte Apartments and St. Francis Villa, both in Kensington; and Nativity B.V.M. Place in nearby Port Richmond.

Development of more affordable housing units for independent seniors by CHCS is under way at St. Rita Place in South Philadelphia, expected to open in the fall of 2021.

With U.S. seniors projected to outnumber the nation’s children by 2034, CHCS is now expanding its affordable housing offerings beyond the city limits. In August, the agency announced plans to develop the 50-unit St. Joseph Place in Collingdale, Delaware County.