Skip links

Nestor UMC Opens Affordable Housing for San Diego Seniors

San Diego, CA – Nestor Senior Village, a groundbreaking affordable housing initiative, celebrated its grand opening on Friday. Nestled on the property of Nestor United Methodist Church, the village offers 73 studio apartment homes tailored for individuals aged 55 or better.

The land for the project was originally donated to the church by a local family in the late 1800s. Beverly Parker, a member of the family, was on site for the grand opening on Friday, sharing about her and her family’s “130 years of prayers” for the land, and that she is glad to see it used in this way for a current community need.

Messages at Friday’s event centered on a theme of collaboration and an effort to provide more than a place to sleep – to provide residents with a home with a built-in supportive community. John Seymour, Vice President of National CORE, emphasized the importance of partnerships. The Rev. Kimberly Ports, Pastor of Nestor United Methodist Church, led the invocation, underscoring the significance of times of transition, and the flourishing of the Nestor neighborhood.

City officials, including Mayor Todd Gloria, Councilmember Vivian Moreno, and Supervisor Nora Vargas, expressed their support for the project, stressing the urgent need for increased affordable housing options across San Diego. They spoke about seniors experiencing homelessness as one of our communities most vulnerable populations, and a growing trend of those over 55 experiencing needs when it comes to necessities.

Nestor Senior Village also features 4,000 square feet of community space, and offers comprehensive supportive services and case management. These services are provided by a coalition of organizations, including the Hope through Housing Foundation, Father Joe’s Villages, CASA Familiar, San Diego PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly), and San Ysidro Health Services. The community space also houses events for residents, such as last week’s clothing swap.

Other speakers, including Jim Geddes of Nestor United Methodist Church and Dr. Eric McDonald of the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency, praised the collaborative efforts that made the eight-year project of Nestor Senior Village a reality. Dr. McDonald cited Nestor UMC as an example and shared a hope that other faith-based organizations would follow the lead with similar projects. Eugene “Mitch” Mitchell, Chair of the SDHC Board of Commissioners, highlighted the community support embodied in the village, saying that “in every crisis, you need a collaboration.”

The event also featured words from one of the residents, Teretha Bankhead, who shared her journey from living in her car to finding a stable home at Nestor Senior Village. Her poignant story underscored the critical need for permanent supportive and affordable housing solutions, saying, “When I was out there, I met so many people like me. People that lost their jobs, people that were displaced.”

Following the speeches, attendees took tours of the space and Bankhead’s apartment. With its commitment to providing not just shelter but also a supportive and thriving community for seniors, Nestor Senior Village represents an admirable next phase in how UMC churches can serve their communities. As Dr. McDonald shared, “Congratulations to the residents. May this location be a place that keeps you healthy, safe, and thriving.”

Additional Resources:

Nestor UMC: Information about Nestor Senior Village

CBS Article About NSV Resident