Past United Helpers Board Member Enjoying Life at Independent Senior Living
CANTON – Charlie Owens remembers when United Helpers Independent Senior Living (ISL) was nothing more than a set of blueprints laid out on a table before the Management Company Board of Directors.
The facility, originally known as Partridge Knoll, was built in 1999 and to this day remains St. Lawrence County’s only retirement home for seniors. Mr. Owens, who has resided at ISL since 2019, was on the board of directors during the project’s planning stages.
“We wanted to fill a need in the community for quality senior housing in a setting where seniors could feel both safe and comfortable while enjoying their golden years,” he said.
While Mr. Owens was supportive of the project, at that time he never quite envisioned himself living there. “I’ve lived in Gouverneur most of my life, and my wife and I had a beautiful camp on the St. Lawrence River. To be honest, I never really gave it much thought,” he said.
However in 2019, his wife Hi passed away, and his children suggested that he sell his home and find a place where could live without being by himself most of the time.
“They really pushed me to not stay alone,” he said. “So I made the decision to sell the house and our camp. I knew a number of people who were living there, so that helped quite a bit with the transition.”
Mr. Owens said he enjoys his independence, while also having the opportunity to dine with friends each night.
“It’s a very relaxed atmosphere. We’re free during the day to pretty much do what we please. Then at night we all gather together for dinner,” he said. “The people are nice and the food is great.”
In addition to dining together each night, Mr. Owens said many of the building’s members also get together for coffee each morning. “This really is a pretty unique place. I don’t know of any other operation quite like it,” he said. “It’s like living in an apartment building full of your friends.”
United Helpers Independent Senior Living offers a variety of apartment styles, with both one and two-bedroom units available. To take a virtual tour of the building, please visit unitedhelpers.org and click on the link for virtual tours.
An in-person tour may also be arranged by calling (315) 379-1428.