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First Coast Connect

3/15/2017: Ability Housing - Springfield; Digital Senior Abuse; Jeanette Bajalia

  Wednesday on “First Coast Connect” we discussed the proposed settlement between the city of Jacksonville and two nonprofits regarding a plan by Ability Housing to renovate an apartment building in Springfield that would house homeless veterans. Ability Housing Executive Director Shannon Nazworth joined us to talk about its plans and the deal with the city. We also discuss the growing problem of digital abuse against the elderly in senior living facilities with Joanne Hickox, executive director of Seniors on a Mission, and attorney Steve Watrel, who focuses on elder abuse cases. Author and financial planner Jeanette Bajalia talked about her new book “Planning a Purposeful Life” on how seniors can make sure they don’t outlive their savings.   


Ability Housing — Springfield

It’s been a dispute in Springfield for years. At issue is Ability Housing using a 12-unit complex on Cottage Avenue as a home for the disabled and chronically homeless. Many residents in Springfield are opposed to a deal hammered out between the Jacksonville general counsel’s office and the non-profits, and want the city to go to court to stop the agreement. Springfield residents said there wasn’t enough community input in the deal. The settlement, which needs to be approved by City Council, would pay a portion of Disability Rights Florida and Ability Housing's legal fees, expenses and costs. There will also be a $1.5 million grant for permanent supportive housing that will be administered by the city that must go through the competitive grant process. Council is expected to vote on the deal March 28.

Digital Senior Abuse  

According to a new report “The State of Nursing Homes and Elder Abuse in Florida” written by Wartel, an increasing number of nursing home employees are sharing degrading and abusive photographs and videos of residents on social media. The report says nearly 91 percent of nursing homes in the U.S. lack adequate staff to properly care for residents. Hickox advised to always closely check out facilities before letting a parent move into a facility and make frequent unannounced visits to check on the condition of loved ones.      

Jeanette Bajalia

She’s one of America’s most trusted financial professionals.

Bajalia is on the leading edge of what’s known as the longevity revolution.

While longevity can mean extra years of passion and purpose, it can also mean disease and disability, and the very real and frightening risk of outliving your money. Bajalia said the earlier someone starts making financial plans for retirement the better off they will be.    

Producer Kevin Meerschaert can be reached at, 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @KMeerschaertJax.


Kevin Meerschaert has left WJCT for new pursuits. He was the producer of First Coast Connect until October of 2018.