Walters Group Raises the Experience for Age, Income-Restricted Residents

Top Quote Social Services Coordinator Makes Resident Satisfaction a Priority. End Quote
  • Monmouth-Ocean, NJ (1888PressRelease) October 28, 2017 - Improving the quality of life for residents is not only good business it’s a priority for Walters Group, which owns and manages eight income-restricted properties in Barnegat, Lacey, Stafford and Toms River. The hiring of a new social services coordinator, Jennifer Pampalone, has allowed the firm to expand the programs and services it offers residents who are living in Walters’ communities, including two properties specifically designed for seniors (55+).

    “We develop relationships with residents by being there when they need us and creating a positive environment where seniors and families can get the services they need,” said Pampalone. “We’re also enrolled in a state program called Services for Independent Living, which offers a great deal of resources for our residents.”

    Besides handling the daily operations of each community, Walters Group property managers work in tandem with Pampalone to create specialized programming that addresses the interests and concerns of the residents. The six communities are Cornerstone at Lacey Phase 1 and 2, Cornerstone at Barnegat, Laurel Oaks Phase 1 and 2, Whispering Hills, Stafford Park and the recently-completed Cornerstone at Toms River, consisting of 548 apartment units total.

    Walters Staff Addresses Residents’ Needs
    “We believe in creating high-quality housing that enhances the lives of the people living there as well as the surrounding community. Our staff is well-versed on providing the best services that create strong and healthy communities,” said Melissa DeMayo, director of property management for Walters Group.

    Resident feedback lies at the heart of the social services program. Through group meetings and questionnaires, residents are encouraged to give their input. As a result, a variety of special interest clubs have been organized such as Mahjong, knitting and bible study. The staff also creates social events such as summer barbecues, psychic nights and paints and sip classes to help foster a sense of community. At Cornerstone at Toms River, Pampalone addressed a desire by residents who wanted to learn how to properly use the fitness center’s exercise equipment. She also organizes activities for children in conjunction with the local library that includes storytime and craft-themed parties.

    Residents also stay active with a range of weekly events organized by Pampalone, who keeps them in the loop with monthly newsletters, Facebook posts, text messaging and flyers.

    Getting residents involved in rewarding charitable events also creates an opportunity for them to socialize and make a difference within their community. Among the ongoing endeavors, located at every community, is the food pantry program which collects, stores and distributes food to residents in need. Community involvement takes the form of philanthropy in several communities where residents have formed The Common Goals Group, which focuses on a different charity activities every month. In October, the group is organizing a supply drive for a local domestic violence shelter. At Cornerstone at Barnegat, the Creative Stitchers club makes and donates hats to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.

    Residents also rallied to raise funds for a young boy at Laurel Oaks Apartments in Barnegat. In August, Pampalone worked with Walters Group staff – Carrie Adragna, community manager; Veronica Velez, assistant manager; and Denise Martin, leasing consultant – to raise roughly $4,000 for Nikolas Falco, a resident who was diagnosed with cancer.

    Seniors Benefit from Community Services
    “At our age-restricted communities, we provide an opportunity for senior residents to age in place by linking them to the community and supportive services they need to continue living independently,” said Pampalone.

    Pampalone recalls working with a senior couple in Barnegat who recently lost their transportation – a car that they couldn’t afford to replace. They turned to Pampalone for help getting to their doctor appointments. Pampalone arranged a ride for them through a medical transportation program covered through Medicaid services.

    “When seniors first join our communities they are generally very excited about the prospect of getting involved in social activities. Their families feel good knowing that someone will always be there for them when they can’t be,” said Pampalone. “I get an awful lot of positive feedback from new residents.”

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