Community Fair at Riverview Apartments
Residents at Springfield Housing Authority’s Riverview Apartments gathered recently for a Community Fair that featured socializing, education and snacks.
The afternoon fair featured 19 vendors offering pamphlets, gifts and tips on topics including fire prevention, financial advice, women’s health care, Riverview Apartments, home health care services, funeral planning without breaking one’s bank, and even early childhood literacy.
In the spacious Riverview Community Room, residents walked down aisles set up for the occasion, stopping to talk with representatives from the various agencies and organizations, and gave the fair top grades.
“This is great,” said resident Israel Rodriguez, as he chatted with three Springfield firefighters.
“I wanted to see what kinds of things they would have to offer, and to learn things from the people who are here,” he added.
SHA Executive Director Denise Jordan noted that the fair is a fine way to share important information to residents at Riverview, where both seniors and families live.
“The vendors came together with information and conversation that helps residents maintain safe, healthy and productive lives,” Jordan said. “We’re happy to facilitate that.
The fair was organized by ROSS Program Coordinator Amy Santiago, who aimed to provide information about services important to residents at Riverview.
“We want our residents to know what’s out there that will help them in a variety of ways. Plus that, it’s a nice chance to get together with your neighbors,” Santiago said.
Vendors included three men from the Springfield Fire Department’s Fire Prevention Services program. Firefighter Eric Rosa noted that they were ready to give important tips about fire safety and prevention, kitchen safety, smoke alarms and other aspects of maintaining a safe household. The also had potholders and pencils to give out.
At the PCMC Inc. table, nurses and staffers volunteered their time so that Riverview residents could talk and learn about this non-emergency transportation provider that can bring people to medical appointments, rehabilitation, and shopping and pharmacy runs.
“We want to introduce ourselves and let the residents know that we are here and ready to provide our services,” said registered nurse Martha Metivier.
Two representatives from the Funeral Consumers Alliance of Western Massachusetts explained their mission – to help people plan the final run of life without spending an inordinate amount of money, and to guide people in the planning stage.
“We try to help people figure out how to get the best deal on their funeral, and to figure out exactly what they want,” said Jim Couchon of the non-profit organization run by volunteers.
Resident Wilfredo Vargas said he learned a lot from the fair.
“This is very good,” he said. “There is so much great information here, all in the same place, and with people you can talk with if you want more information.”
Riverview Tenants Association President Raquel Sanchez helped bring out residents and said she was pleased with the event and the turnout.
“It’s very good for our residents to come out to an event like this so they can learn more about services available to them,” she said.
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