Months after India Home re-opened its elder care centers after a brief closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Dr. Vasundhara Kalasapudi still fondly remembers reuniting with the center’s residents.
“When the seniors saw me, they came up to me and started speaking to me in their mother tongues,” recalls Dr. Kalasapudi, co-founder of India Home, which serves the South Asian and Indo-Caribbean immigrant community. “I don’t speak every language at India Home. But the staff who did speak the same language translated every word. They said that the seniors told me they are so happy that we are having our centers re-opened and they feel like India Home is a home away from home for them.”
The organization began when Dr. Kalasapudi struggled to find culturally sensitive care for her father. Undeterred, she started India Home in 2008 as a first step in creating elder care that was culturally competent, community oriented, and that piloted innovative solutions to combat alienation, loneliness and depression in the senior community.
While India Home flourished and became a home away from home for its residents, the organization was itself without a home until 2018. Despite receiving a substantial government grant from New York City, India Home still did not have the means to purchase property for use as an office or program space. That is, until India Home got in touch with FJC.
“The experience of taking the loan from FJC was extremely pleasant and easy,” Dr. Kalasapudi recounts. “With FJC’s loan, for the first time India Home has a home, a central place to coordinate with all of our centers.”
Recently, FJC has collaborated with India Home again to finance the organization’s bold initiative to experiment in New York City with creating co-living spaces for isolated seniors to live together like friends or family. Again, FJC was able to provide an acquisition loan that was responsive to the organization’s needs.
“When we asked for the loan for this initiative, we thought that we would make a twenty percent down payment and FJC would maybe give an eighty percent loan,” says Dr. Kalasapudi. “We were so pleasantly surprised when we received a ninety five percent loan to close the property.”
With financing in place for this new co-living experiment, Dr. Kalasapudi has time to enjoy interacting with the senior residents across India Home’s various centers, something that is particularly meaningful to her. “Everyone will have two parents. But at India Home I feel like I have hundreds of parents blessing me all of the time.”
Special thanks to Rachel Goldman, FJC’s Program Assistant, for authoring this post.