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  • Writer's pictureMary Herrold

Building Community and Wellness: How Collaboration Transformed a Senior Housing Community

In the heart of Hobart, Indiana, there is a remarkable story of collaboration and innovation that has brought positive change to the lives of residents at Linden House. This inspiring tale revolves around the determined efforts of Patricia Hargrove, a Social Services Coordinator from the Housing and Human Development Corporation and the visionary Property Manager of Linden House. Together, they created a unique community store, combining incentives and engagement to address the challenges faced by the residents.

The Challenge:

Patricia was passionate about improving the well-being of the residents. However, she encountered obstacles in getting them to actively participate in community activities and prioritize their personal and healthcare appointments. Recognizing the importance of resident engagement and healthy living, she sought to find a solution that would benefit everyone.

The Collaborative Solution:

Realizing the power of collaboration, Patricia and the Property Manager joined forces. They devised an innovative strategy that not only encouraged residents to actively participate but also promoted a sense of community and self-care.

The core idea behind their solution was to leverage retail rebates to purchase household staples and treats for the community store. To earn tickets, residents were required to attend activities or keep their personal and healthcare appointments. Each time a resident fulfilled these responsibilities, they received a ticket worth a certain amount of money.

The Impact:

The introduction of the community store and the ticket system created a win-win situation for everyone involved. First and foremost, it successfully addressed the challenge of resident well-being and participation. The promise of redeemable tickets acted as an incentive for residents to attend activities and make their appointments, instilling a sense of responsibility and commitment to their well-being.

Furthermore, the implementation of "hidden clues" in the community newsletter turned out to be a stroke of genius. Residents eagerly awaited each issue, excitedly searching for clues and engaging with the content. “Any time I put a three-ticket value on a clue, my phone rings off the hook and participation soars,” said Hargrove. This simple addition tripled the readership, fostering a stronger sense of community and connection among the residents.

With the tickets they earned, residents could now shop at the community store. This not only provided them with access to essential household items but also allowed them to enjoy some treats, adding an element of joy to their lives. By ensuring the store stocked a variety of products, the coordinators catered to the diverse needs of the residents.


The success of the community store at Linden House demonstrates the power of collaboration and innovation in addressing social challenges. By working together, the Social Services Coordinator and the Property Manager found a creative solution that not only increased resident participation and readership but also improved overall well-being within the community.

Through the ticket system and the community store, the residents of Linden House gained a renewed sense of empowerment and a stronger connection to their community. This heartwarming tale serves as a shining example of how, with determination and imagination, positive change can be brought about even in the face of adversity.

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