Finally a place to call home – Jeanne Renna and Tioga Presbyterian Apartments

January 04, 2017

Jeanne Renna had never lived on her own before, but through Presby’s Affordable Housing Ministry, she found a safe, secure place to call home at Tioga.

Even though Jeanne Renna was almost always around people, she felt alone.

Jeanne, 65, was living in a rooming house in inner-city North Philadelphia. It was a shared space where residents would come and go as they please. That meant other residents would have friends and acquaintances also come and go as they please, forcing Jeanne to constantly worry about break-ins and her personal belongings. She said she can remember countless times when the food she had bought for herself would be gone shortly after buying it.

“I was there on my own,” Jeanne said while fighting back tears. “It wasn’t a safe place. It was very bad.”

In late 2015, seeing how frustrated Jeanne was with her living conditions, Jeanne’s case manager at nearby Temple hospital made a life-changing suggestion.

The case manager suggested Jeanne put in an application for an apartment at Presby’s Inspired Life’s Tioga community just a short way away.

After all the time in the rooming house, Jeanne’s wish came true as she moved into Tioga in December 2015.

After feeling unsafe for so long, Jeanne now had the senses of comfort and security she desired for so long all while living independently for the first time.

“I’d probably still be in a hospital or stuck in that rooming house if I wasn’t here,” said Jeanne, who lives at Tioga with her cat.

“Here, I’m safe. I’ve got the guards and I’ve got my own apartment. The next day, I go and check the refrigerator and my food is still there.”

In her time at Tioga, Jeanne has integrated into the Tioga community seamlessly. She’s made countless friends and spends her fair share of time in the computer room, learning how to use the computers and her new cell phone.

But the friendships she’s made over the last year at Tioga are what mean the most to her.

Jeanne does not have any immediate family, so the staff and fellow residents are there for her with a shoulder to lean on or an ear whenever she needs someone to talk to.

Those are things Jeanne hadn’t had in recent years, so she cherishes them greatly.

“It means a lot to me as I have no family. But now I do.”