Feeling Right At Home

Feeling Right At Home

By Matt Miller

When people step into Mattie Russell’s apartment at Crestview Terrace Apartments in West Des Moines, it’s hard to believe she just moved in few months ago. The two-bedroom apartment has a warm, cozy feeling.  Family pictures line the walls, the kitchen is spotless and everything else seems to be right in place.

“With such a great place to live, why not take care of it the best I can,” Russell said. “This place has truly been a blessing, and I’ve really enjoyed my time here thus far. “It feels like home.”

Russell made the move to Crestview Terrace Apartments in August 2011 after she was concerned about security at her previous apartment complex in Des Moines. She heard about the affordable housing complex for seniors from a friend.

“I needed to make a change,” said Russell, 74. “I wasn’t very happy at my previous location. I certainly do not have any concerns about security here.”

Russell is just one of several residents who now call Crestview Terrace Apartments home. Located at 916 Ashworth Road, the complex was originally a federally-subsidized meal site with 101 rooms for seniors. Today, the 55-unit (one- and two-bedroom apartments) renovated facility is owned by Community Housing Initiatives, a non-profit based in Spencer. Crestview Terrace Apartments, which accepts seniors age 55 and above, features 15 handicapped units, washer /dryer in each unit, an activities room, a library, and courtyard with gazebo.

“There are a ton of things to get involved in,” said Russell, who regularly participates in coffee socials, potlucks, exercise groups and more. “I’ve met a handful of residents who’ve experienced the same thing.”

Russell says the activity did attract her to Crestview Terrace Apartments, but more importantly, it was the idea of living in a senior affordable housing facility.

“These places are hard to come by,” she said. “You can’t really get by with rent without affordable housing. It’s very important, and it sure does affect a lot of people.”

Now settled into her new place, Russell says she’s had plenty of relatives stop by and check on her.

“It’s nice to have family visit,” said Russell, who has three children, eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. “And when they’re not visiting, I have all these pictures to remind me of the memories we have together. They make this place home.”