The Sunshine Manor Apartments have been a staple in the community since 1977 when it first opened its doors.

It started out as just 10 apartments thanks in part to rural development. The apartment complex now houses 28 units.

“There were only 10 units to begin with and then the board decided there was a big need for senior housing and for disability housing, so we took it upon ourselves to borrow money to build the 18 units and a community room,” Sunshine Manor Apartments board bember Simona Gallegos said.

The apartments have been updated and maintained consistently throughout the years, according to Gallegos. Some of the upgrades they’ve added over the years include adding central air to apartments, new walk-in showers, new windows, doors and refrigerators.

And as to what separates an independent living facility from an assisted living facility, Gallegos says that residents are responsible for a lot of things.

“Here, they live on their own; they do their own cooking and house cleaning,” Gallegos said.

She added that most residents also are responsible for paying their rent, which is based off their income. Another one of the big distinctions between what makes Sunshine Manor Apartments an independent living facility and not an assisted living facility is that it doens't provide medical care for its residents. Instead, Palmer said they will help them out if they need to get in touch with a service care provider or commodities.

Whilst most of the residents who live at the apartments have to be 62 years of age or older, there are expectations for those who are disabled.

“You have to be elderly or disabled to qualify to live here and most of our units are funded ... so they’re only responsible for 30% of their income and then everything else is covered by the funder, whether it be HUD or Rural Development,” Site Manager Samantha Palmer said.

Twenty-six of the 28 units come with rental assistance, according to Palmer. The other two normally get a Section 8 voucher, which is a program that allows private landlords to rent apartments to qualified low income tenants.

Other pperks of living at the apartments are the myriad of different events they hold, like their end of the month potluck dinners held at the community center.

Dinner isn’t the only group activity being served up at the apartments because residents also meet to do daily puzzles, play bingo, bake and do arts and crafts activities.

Currently, the apartments are at capacity and there is a wait list. You can go to the community building at 231 Locust Avenue to learn more.

jconlan@ljtdmail.com