In 1865, the Trinity Morrisania Church opened its doors to the Bronx community, but over 100 years later, the church became vacant and fell into disrepair.
Located at 1074 Washington Avenue in the Morrisania neighborhood of the Bronx, the newly opened Trinity-Reverend William James Senior Apartments stand where the Trinity Morrisania Church once held services. The building will house 154 seniors, ages 62+, and offer affordable housing to the community. 57 of the units are supportive housing for seniors experiencing homelessness with justice histories who can receive services from The Fortune Society’s new service center, the Mandaela Community, located on the ground floor of the building.
The building, owned and managed by Bronx Pro in joint partnership with the United Methodist City Society, offers permanent and affordable one-bedrooms and studios, along with other residential amenities including laundry facilities, a tenant exercise room, a sunroom being used as a greenhouse to foster hydroponic plantings, an outdoor residential garden and bike storage. Many of the church’s original features, such as stained glass and pews, decorate the community areas and hallways.
Additionally, our new service center, the Mandaela Community, will offer case management to the 57 residents with justice histories and is open to other Fortune participants located in the Bronx.
“The Mandaela Community at the Trinity-Reverend William James Senior Apartments addresses this urgent need by providing extensive, holistic support services—attuned to the experiences of homeless individuals who were previously incarcerated—that complement participants’ safe and comfortable new homes. These services also are available to justice-involved members of the broader Bronx community,” said JoAnne Page.
For newly moved-in residents, like Calvin, the new building offers an opportunity for secure housing.
After his release from prison in the fall of 2019, Calvin was ready to improve his life. He was placed in the shelter system and started Fortune’s Anger Management workshop.
“I finished the program and kept it moving. Then I contracted COVID-19. No surprise there: living in a 16-men room on Randall’s Island and all the unhygienic things that were going on,” said Calvin.
After recovering, Calvin was transferred from shelter to shelter around the New York City boroughs before getting a call about a studio in the Trinity-Reverend William James Senior Apartments. Fortune asked if he would like a place in the new building.
“My answer was obvious,” Calvin said.
Now, Calvin has a studio apartment to himself, complete with a personal bathroom and a full kitchen. He can receive mail and do his laundry, as well as have guests over to enjoy his new space.
Downstairs, Calvin can meet with his Fortune case manager, Stalin Hunt, work out in the gym, spend some time outdoors and meet with other residents. With a permanent and supportive place to live, Calvin feels secure in his future.