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Vivian, A Jewel Among Us


Vivian is one of the 77 individuals who live at the combined residences of Garden Terrace Apartments and Commons. These residences provide a beautiful, safe and convenient home for individuals who are 62 and older or individuals living with a disability. Vivian does not come from a privileged background; she is the product of a modest, hardworking east side St. Paul upbringing. She has raised four children whom she is clearly proud
of and visits with them often. Her life has been full of volunteering efforts, including her role as a foster grandparent through Brown House for 14 years.

Vivian has lived on her own since 1980 and has lived the past eight years at Garden Terrace. She is not only an activemember at Garden Terrace, but also a ring leader of sorts – often attending
two morning coffee breaks with other residents, participating in a daily prayer group, attending all group meals, and going to church every Sunday. When she’s not being social, she’s making
homemade cards for those in need including making 84 confi rmation cards for young men and woman at
Incarnation Lutheran Church in St. Paul. Vivian serves as an inspiration to those around her – her giggle is infectious and her facial expressions convey a playful and humorous side that is more
common in a grade school child! The camaraderie at Garden Terrace helps get her up in the morning and keep her moving all day long. She packs more into one day than most!

The secret to her healthy and happy life has been her faith, watching what she eats, seeking out and fostering friendships, and maintaining an unwavering attitude that demonstrates her appreciation for each and every day. She is extremely thankful for her home at CommonBond and all of the services that she has access to through the Advantages Services program. Because of these services, she is able to take advantage of a Home Health Agency partnership that was established by CommonBond. Through this, she receives bi-weekly health aide visits, nursing visits, cleaning and maintenance services and more.

She applauds the staff of CommonBond, especially Wanda Anstett, the Advantage Services Coordinator. Due to Vivian’s generous nature, she found herself on 460 mailing lists of charities seeking her fi nancial assistance. With Wanda’s help, she was able to reduce that to a handful. In addition, Wanda also assisted Vivian
in wading through all of the paperwork associated with her health care services, reimbursement fi lings and re-certifi cation processes. As Vivian sees it, “Wanda is a godsend!”

Vivian’s kind and thankful heart has no doubt kept her vibrant into her 91st year of life. She wakes up every morning with a sense of excitement and anticipation for the day. Along the way, always thankful and quick to give a hug to those who come into her presence. She is truly a jewel among the staff and residents of Garden Terrace.

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"Because of our experience with CommonBond, my husband and I have good jobs, a home that we love and a healthy place for our kids to grow up.”

- Read Wendy's story.

CommonBond Communities
Affordable Housing with Services

1080 Montreal Avenue 
St. Paul MN 55116
Phone: 651-291-1750
Fax: 651-291-1003
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