Community service center for seniors, veterans opens in Woodstock

Nonprofits partner to offer services at Prairie View Apartment Community

The Prairie View Apartment Community in Woodstock is under new ownership and now will offer affordable housing units to veterans.
The Prairie View Apartment Community in Woodstock is under new ownership and now will offer affordable housing units to veterans.

A group of nonprofits have partnered to offer services to veterans and older adults at a new Woodstock-based community service center.

The center is located at Prairie View Apartment Community on Leah Lane, off Country Club Road but is open to anyone in McHenry County, with programs focused on helping veterans and older adults. The center will offer legal counseling, case management, tax assistance, Medicare help and programs for socially isolated seniors.

Participating agencies include Community Crosswalk, TLS Veterans, McHenry County PEARLS program, Patriot Services Inc., Illinois Armed Forces Legal Aid Network and Senior Health Insurance Program, according to a news release from the center.

Sharon Smith, of Community Crosswalk, said the goal of the center was to remove barriers such as transportation issues for clients by centralizing services.

“Transportation is always an issue, especially with the clients we serve,” Smith said. “Many seniors in the area don’t drive and during open enrollment we need to see a lot of people quickly. More people will be able to access services more quickly.”

Smith also said that agencies would be able to refer clients to other services more readily since so many providers will operate on-site.

“We came together last year with the co-location concept to see if by partnering and sharing resources, we could impact the community better,” Smith said. “The folks we serve are low-income veterans and socially isolated adults. Our missions were aligned pretty closely.”

A nonprofit veteran foundation bought the 335-unit Prairie View Apartment Community in February with the intention of offering affordable housing and services to low-income veterans. The site owner donated space for the community center, Smith said.

Different services will be provided each day of the week under the following schedule:

Monday: TLS Veterans services

Tuesday: McHenry County PEARLS Program

Wednesday: Community Crosswalk legal aid

Thursday: Counseling and case management

The center located at 411 Leah Lane and is open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Friday hours are by appointment only. Interested participants can call Community Crosswalk at 815-337-7734 to get connected with services.

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