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PACE Program Helps Seniors Find Affordable Housing In Downtown San Diego

Evening Edition

Finding affordable housing in San Diego is a challenge — no matter who you are. But for seniors who want to remain independent, the challenge is even greater.

St. Paul's Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly has partnered with the San Diego Housing Commission to provide 11 seniors enrolled in the St. Paul's PACE program with affordable apartments downtown. The seniors all have chronic illnesses, but are still able to live on their own.

The apartment building overlooks the San Diego airport, downtown and Point Loma. Lorrain Foster, 68, is living in one of the fully furnished apartments with Skip, her Labrador specially trained to assist her because she is blind in one eye. Foster said she is already enjoying her new residence.

"Despite the airplanes I have piece of mind. It's quiet, convenient, safe, and it's really great," Foster said.

A retired elementary school teacher, Foster grew up in San Diego, but never dreamed of living downtown.

"In San Diego, it was too expensive and you had to ride buses everywhere because there was hardly any parking," Foster said.

Amanda Gois, marketing director for St. Paul's PACE, said the program participants only spend a portion of their income on rent.

"All of these apartments have what's called a Section 8 voucher, and I believe she pays between 20 and 30 percent of her income as rent," Gois said.

St. Paul's PACE is also working on building another housing complex for 50 seniors.

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