How to turn an empty theater into a full house
Posted On June 21, 2021
The Hill article In an effort to transform an empty cinema into a home for the elderly and the disabled, a group of residents are planning to turn a building on the corner of Main Street and Seventh Avenue into a family home.
The group has secured an $11,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to construct the new home.
“We have the skills and the knowledge to do it, so we’re just trying to do the right thing for the community,” said Tami Sotelo, a community member and executive director of the Community Center of Greater Dayton, which is building the home.
She said she’s hoping to move the family home in a couple of months.
Sotelos family has lived in the building for 20 years, but it’s not a place where their grandchildren can play.
They’ve been living in a nursing home for a few years and can’t afford to move.
The home is being converted to serve as a home to help care for the disabled.
In its current state, the building is too small to accommodate two adults.
Sottelos hopes to expand the size of the home to accommodate a wheelchair user and to provide access to an elevator, among other needs.
She also said the family’s children and grandchildren have been staying at the nursing home and have become accustomed to living in the cramped space.
“When we were living in nursing homes, it was really hard to find room for a family, so the children have always wanted to come to the theater, too,” she said.
The Home for the Elderly has also been able to offer services to help the disabled and elderly in need.
“The elderly, in particular, are our neighbors,” Sottelo said.
“It’s not that they’re physically disabled, but they’re living in isolation from the rest of society.”
A home for people with disabilities, like Sottels, can also be a place of support.
“There’s a lot of different things that can go wrong in a home, so it’s nice to have that opportunity to provide support,” Sotels said.
With the help of a grant, the community is planning to expand and expand the home over time, Sotteltos said.
For now, the home is not ready for occupancy, but the family is open to any suggestions for future improvements.
“This is the place to live for us,” Sotti said.