“Tradition” Brought her Back to Rochester

Providence Housing’s mission is to strengthen families and communities by creating and providing access to quality affordable housing enriched by the availability of supportive services.Mary Zarcone moved into Durand Senior Apartments in December. She grew up in Rochester near Norton and Goodman Streets, raised her children here, and then spent the past 20 years in Florida. She has been back to visit family a few times, but after attending her 50th high school reunion at Franklin High School a few years ago, she knew she wanted to move home. She liked what she remembered about the area and reconnected with many old friends. At the reunion, she ran into Karen Gerrish (St. Salome resident) whom she knew since grade school. The following year, she spent six weeks visiting her brother in Ontario and continued “re-awakening” her friendships.

While her daughters were in Florida, they had growing families and it became difficult to visit them on opposite ends of the state. She also became keenly aware that housing in Florida was more expensive than in NYS. She missed the connections she had with family and friends. Mary adored seeing her brother, nieces, and nephews and loved how everyone made her feel special and important here in Rochester. Per Mary, she “could walk into the grocery store and see people I knew.” Mary missed family, friends and “tradition” here in Rochester.

While visiting, Karen Gerrish told her about new apartments that were going to be built next to St. Salome. Mary entered the housing lottery and was given number 116 (there are 70 units). Knowing there are more seniors than spots available, she applied at other nearby affordable housing complexes where she was placed on wait lists, but she was hopeful. After returning to Florida in August, she was contacted in September regarding Durand Senior Apartments. After a whirlwind few months, she moved into her new home on December 29, 2018. Her apartment is beautiful (see above) and affordable, and she loves the neighborhood. Today, “tradition” continues and she is happy to be part of it.

Whether she’s playing Euchre at Durand, walking the path to the Bay or Seabreeze, dancing at Charlotte, or visiting the Irondequoit Town Hall market, she’s out four times per week. Mary says, “I don’t consider myself a senior. I didn’t want to be around old people and I’m not. There is a lot to do here and I’m more than blessed.”

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