Let’s look at our progress!

As soon as the updates and status reports are available, they will be placed here. This will include videos, a map showing the location of the new community, blueprints and possibly a list of costs.

Be sure to come back here for the latest news here!

Message from our new NJDSH President Kathy Kady-Hopkins!

Honoring Lila Taylor

This video is to honor Lila Taylor and to advise everyone that Kathy Kady-Hopkins is now the President of New Jersey Deaf Housing.

Transcript of each person’s verbiage follows:

Lila Taylor
All of you here, you’re comfortable – signing with each other. It’s important to be comfortable, right? You want to move with Hearing senior citizens? You’d sit there “nothing to do” and be bored all day while everyone is talking around you? No way! We have to move where there is VP and VRS, where we can chat with our neighbors.

Today, we have the Tricky Tray here and thank you so much for your donations. Your support is for the housing building inside – furniture, chairs, kitchen stuff. HUD is not paying for those things. We have to take care of the interior design. We want it to look beautiful inside. We don’t want a basic look. We want our building to look its best. If you want to move there, fine. If you don’t want to move, you can stay home, fine. But what’s this place? Maybe you’re thinking to yourself, “I’m lonely at home. I can drive to Deaf Senior Housing and socialize with Deaf people!” – very important! Right now your quality of life is fine. You’re young, but, wait. In 20 years it will be different. Maybe you won’t be able to walk or do other things. We must plan for the future.

OK, I want to again say thank you for your support. Tricky Tray events have long been hosted by hearing people and I thought it was a wonderful idea. Why not start something new? So I did some research and I said yeah – we can raise more money. We can grow our funds. And I see here now that’s what we did! Thirdly, a fashion show is something we enjoy, but we can have Deaf models! Cool! So different! Hearing people are always the models at fashion shows, why not Deaf models? Right? Yeah!

Kathy Kady-Hopkins
Hi, I’m Kathy Kady-Hopkins and today I became the new President of New Jersey Deaf Senior Housing (NJDSH). As you know, Lila Taylor has recently passed away and her dream was to have deaf housing for us. As the President I will continue to pursue that dream and spread her message. We are all here today from the Board and we will continue to work fulfill that mission.

Jane Cyran
Hello, I’m Jane Cyran, I am the secretary of Deaf Senior Housing.
Lila was my friend for 15 years and I love Lila. This picture tells everything about Lila. She is signing love, she has s beautiful sparkly dress on and she is with the Deaf Community. We will be sure to carry out Lila’s wishes.

Tom Smith
Hi, my name is Tom Smith. This is my friend Lila. We met 25 years ago. We were visiting a Senior Center nursing home, that’s how we met. We started talking and said that we needed to set-up special housing for Deaf Seniors and that was 25 years ago. We may have lost Lila’s body but we didn’t lose Lila’s spirit. She is here to support and to guide us. We will continue her work here. God Bless.

Lucinda Brooks
Hi, I’m Lucinda Brooks. I’ve been working with Lila for about 12 years. I am so sorry that she is gone and not with us anymore but we are still going to continue.

Sad News

It is with deep regret that I announce the death of our friend and President of New Jersey Deaf Senior Housing, Lilah Taylor. She passed away peacefully on February 22nd, surrounded by her family. 

Lila was a fighter, loyal, self-sacrificing and care about the deaf community. She has faithfully and tireless, unfading loyalty and devotion to New Jersey Deaf Senior Housing all the way to a week ago. 

Please keep her husband Ken and the family in your prayers. 

More information is found here for her funeral arrangement. 

Lila Taylor is the president of New Jersey Deaf Senior Housing, Inc.

Lila Taylor

We’re glad that you’ve come here for a visit.  Please grab a mug of your favorite beverage and then sit down to learn what we’re all about.

We have a goal and we’re aiming to make it comes true.  The goal is to establish an adult housing facility, built primarily for those who are among these diverse groups:

“Teamwork makes the Dream Work”

NJAD Humanitarian Award

On behalf of New Jersey Deaf Senior Housing Board Members:

President, Lila Taylor
Vice-President, Kathy Kady-Hopkins
Secretary, Jane Cyran
Treasurer, Chung Williamson
Planning Coordinator, Lucinda Brooks
Social Worker Coordinator, Tom Smith
Webmaster, Andy Oh
Former Media & Fundraising Coordinator, Lori Timney

We are honored to accept this recognition from New Jersey Association of the Deaf.  We feel very blessed to know that NJAD and NJDSH remain strong partners in our goal of safe, affordable and supportive housing option for our Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Deaf-Blind and Late-Deafened individuals.


Here’s the good news as of August 20, 2017!

Awards received during NJAD’s 50th Golden Jubilee Banquet on April 30, 2017


NJDSH & CCM met for discussion on December 13, 2016

NJ Deaf Senior Housing, Inc. (NJDSH) Board Members met with Cardinal Capital Management (CCM) Team at Pluckemin Inn to discuss updates on housing project in Morristown Township.

Left side, front to back: Lucinda Brooks, NJDSH Planning Coordinator; Kathy Kady-Hopkins, NJDSH Vice-President; Lila Taylor, NJDSH President; Lori Timney, Media & Community Fundraising Coordinator; Tom Smith, Social Services Coordinator.

Right side, front to back: Audrey Rosenberg, Interpreter: Erich Schwenker, President of CCM; Bob McCormick, CCM Property Development; Jane Cyran, NJDSH Secretary & Corporate Fundraising Coordinator.

Update as of December 10, 2016

NJ Deaf Senior Housing (NJDSH) has had a busy year. Our development partner, Cardinal Capital Management (CCM) is now focusing on finding property to build Deaf Housing in NJ. Erich Schwenker, President of CCM, is making a second trip to NJ on December 13 and 14th to look for property. We are looking at Morris County for good transportation, shopping, hospitals and safe pleasant towns. CCM and NJDSH are hoping to buy property this spring with the million dollars set aside by CCM to buy this property in NJ. CCM will put together the money needed to build the property – about $15 to $20 million total!! We are very fortunate to have CCM standing by the Deaf community. You will all remember the terrible problem that our own US government HUD caused. Erich fought very hard and CCM spent much money on lawyers to stop HUD from closing the Deaf Arizona Apace Trails.

NJDSH and CCM are having monthly videoconferences to discuss building a beautiful Deaf Housing in NJ.   NJDSH has put together CCM with many people from local governments. We are also spending a lot of time educating people about the need for Deaf Housing in NJ. We need community support to help put together the large amount of money from banks, etc. to build in NJ. Erich feels the Morris County location will be the first of maybe 2 or 3 Deaf Housing in NJ – we have a lot of people here!!!

Please see our website and Facebook page for updates. We now have a list of about 270 people who want to move to Deaf Housing when it is built. Please fill in the interest survey to let us know if you want to move.

Many of you may have attended our biggest fundraiser Fashion Show & Gift Basket Auction in May. Next year will be the 5th Show and we hope to have a VERY special guest – keep looking at updates!! Fashion Show & Gift Basket Auction will be held on October 14, 2017 at the beautiful Ocean Place Resort in Long Branch. We are hoping to collect $2 million to let us use earnings on this to pay for a social worker, maybe a van and driver, specialized communication equipment, interpreters, furnishings for common living areas, social events, etc. This won’t be just another apartment building but will be the very first and very special center for Deaf people and their families in NJ.

Update as of October 21, 2016

Happy Fall, Everyone!

The New Jersey Deaf Senior Housing, Inc. (NJDSH) Executive Board is pleased to announce updates from our recent videoconference calls with our developer, Cardinal Capital Management, Inc. (CCM). We have very exciting news to share with all the Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Late-Deafened and Deaf-Blind communities of our State.

After being held back for 5 years by the legal interpretations of HUD (U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Affairs) regarding housing that benefits Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Late-Deafened, Deaf-Blind people, CCM is confident that this issue has been resolved. We are now able to move towards our goal of such housing in New Jersey.

Erich Schwenker, President of CCM, stated that an active search for property in NJ will begin next month (November 2016).  We anticipate settling on a site and signing a contract by spring of 2017, focusing particularly on the communities previously discussed with us.  We will be consulted before final approval of the site.  The exact location will be determined by the factors we have been studying for several years, such as proximity to public transportation, shopping and medical facilities, and Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Late-Deafened, Deaf-Blind social organizations, as well as by the exact type of residence (low-income/market rate mix) we would be able to build.

Please remember that since the NY-Metro Area is a “huge market” (20-25 million people) and includes many different housing needs for people who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Deaf-Blind or Late-Deafened, this facility may be only the first of a number of specialized housing projects to be developed in our area.

We felt strongly that it was important to share this wonderful news with you.

More details to be announced later.  Thanks for all your support.

“Teamwork makes the Dream Work.”

Article about Isolation, even in Ireland…

Here’s a sad article about two deaf brothers who passed away in their home and no one noticed this for days.  Click on this link to read this article ~

Tragic deaths of deaf brothers ‘shows effects of social isolation’

One of NJDSH’s goals is to prevent this! Please support us!

More Than a Fashion Show

Here’s Deacon Tom Smith’s article about our successful biggest fundraiser of the year:  “2016 Fashion Show & Gift Basket Auction”.   We all are so grateful to all of you who came to this fundraiser – your support is very much appreciated!

Gosh!  Nyle DiMarco and Peta Murgatroyd are the champions of “Dancing with the Stars”!!   We all are so excited!!!

More than a fashion show - page 1

More than a fashion show - page 2

“Deaf Space” Architecture

Here’s an article and video clip about the “Deaf Space” as defined by Gallaudet University’s Architects.   Please click on this link ~

How Gallaudet University’s Architects Are Redefining Deaf Space

Fashionable Support for NJDSH Fundraiser

Here’s an article about who are supporting NJDSH’s fundraiser “Fashion Show & Gift Basket Auction”.

Thanks to Debra Fleetwood, Margo Gray, Sue Squires of Macy*s and Christine Dutcher of Macy*s for all of their wonderful assistance!

Article about NJDSH and Macy's - page 1Article about NJDSH and Macy's - page 2

Our Fundraising Thermometer

Great news!   We now have our Fundraising Thermometer on this website.   It’s located on the right side of this web page.   For details, please read this – Fundraising Thermometer article.

Heartfelt “Thank You” to Bergen County Deaf Seniors

New logo for Bergen County Deaf Seniors

NJ Deaf Senior Housing Board members attended the Bergen County Deaf Seniors Holiday luncheon and 15th Anniversary at Fiona’s restaurant in Midland Park on December 10, 2015.  Thank you to Diane Smith-Gale and Rose Pizzo for chairing the event along with their amazing volunteer members.  All enjoyed the gathering and the food was fabulous.

NJDSH President, Lila Taylor, proudly announced that she recognized the fact that the Bergen County Deaf Seniors and Northwest Bergen County Senior Center have long supported the goal of supportive housing in NJ for the Deaf, Deaf-Blind, Hard of Hearing and Late-Deafened communities. BC Deaf Seniors established financial support for Deaf housing in the year of 2006 and continue to donate in honor and in the memory of dear deceased persons.  Rose Pizzo and Charlotte Cole were on our committee during the time we were affiliated with the NJ Association of the Deaf (NJAD) until November 2013, when NJDSH established its 501(c)(3) non-profit status.  President and Board Members expressed NJDSH’s sincere gratitude to BC Deaf Seniors and that we are proud to have their logo on our NJDSH website and Facebook.


Memorial Presentation Platform given to NJDSH by Rose & Vincent Pizzo.

Thank you, Rose and Vincent Pizzo, for donation of the memorial presentation platform to NJDSH at the Holiday Luncheon.  Many thanks for their support as well as that of all the members of Bergen County Deaf Seniors.  And thanks to Ron Gale for taking these two photos.

Dec. 9, 2015

Left to right: Rose Pizzo, Kathy Kady-Hopkins, Lila Taylor, Lucinda Brooks, Tom Smith, Jane Cyran, Vincent Pizzo

The Washington Post article:  A Deaf Woman Blossomed in the Right Housing

This article, dated December 3, 2015, tells how a deaf woman’s overall health had improved vastly when she moved to a specialized housing where everyone communicates in American Sign Language.  Please click on this link ~

My deaf neighbor wrote, ‘Mother is dead.’  Many more notes would follow.

Our Long-Term Sponsor:  New Jersey Association of the Deaf, Inc.  (NJAD)

NJADLOGONJDSH is proud to announce that NJAD is recognized as a Sponsor and the NJAD logo is now on our website.  NJAD has long supported the goal of housing in NJ for the Deaf, Deaf-Blind, Hard of Hearing and Late-Deafened communities. This support was demonstrated both financially and by encouraging the original small group of people working on the NJAD Housing Committee starting in 2005.  NJAD Past President, Sean Gerlis, agreed on behalf of NJAD to sign a contract with Cardinal Capital Management (CCM) in 2006.  Sean also was a member of the Housing Committee for a number of years.  In 2006, CCM had already built Deaf Housing in Milwaukee and was starting on a Deaf Housing project in Arizona.  NJ was to be the next project.  Unfortunately, difficult events occurred which almost stopped all development of Deaf Housing.  This included the 2008 financial crisis and the even more difficult HUD’s charge of discrimination.  NJAD and CCM both remained committed to the goal of Deaf Housing in NJ through this very difficult time.  Past President Vicki Joy Sullivan continued to actively support the goals of the NJAD Housing Committee through these difficult years.

Gradually the financial conditions for building became better.  However, once the Arizona project was built, the problems with HUD became more difficult.  Both the Housing Committee and CCM knew it was critical to show community and local government support for Deaf Housing.  The Housing committee proposed the idea of forming a separate organization focused on Deaf Housing in NJ.  In April 2012, in a meeting between NJAD and the Housing Committee, it was agreed that the best way to work to show the most community and government support was to have a separate organization focused only on Deaf Housing.  President Michelle Cline and NJAD remained supportive through the long process of obtaining a 501(c)(3) non-profit status for a separate organization focused on Deaf Housing.  NJDSH, Inc. received the 501(c)(3) designation at the end of 2013.  NJAD again financially supported this new organization by agreeing to transfer to the new NJDSH all of the donations made over the years to NJAD for Housing.  We were so pleased that NJAD Past President Sean Gerlis and NJAD President Michelle Cline were there at the signing by Lila Taylor, NJDSH President, of the Memorandum of Understanding between NJSDH and CCM in August 2014.

NJDSH gratefully acknowledges the support of NJAD through the critical first steps towards the goal of building Deaf Housing in NJ.  As the “parent” of all the many NJ organizations for the Deaf, this support through the years helped our new organization immensely.  NJDSH sincerely thanks NJAD and we are so proud to have the NJAD logo on the NJDSH’s Sponsors webpage.  Please click “Sponsors” on the menu above to see it.

Fundraising Update as of December 16, 2014

NJDSH Secretary Jane Cyran wrote an informative update about all of our fundraising efforts as of December 16th, 2014.   Are you interested in the opportunities of getting your name on the list of donors?  Are you interested in getting the tickets to the NJ Devils hockey game?  Or would you like to know how you could help?   Then, please read this – Fundraising Update.

Major Donors, please

We are now also looking for major donors to contribute to our goal of $2 million. Investment opportunities are also available.  Of course we value donations of any amount, even $5 will contribute and show support.

We are looking for any contacts (names and business) you have for these major donors.  For example, one of our members has a cousin who is President of a NJ Bank; another has a brother-in-law who is a Vice President of a very large company in NY.  We would appreciate if you could send us information on anyone that you know who works in management for a large company, could ask someone in management or a might be wealthy and generous enough to maybe donate $10,000 or more.  Please ask your friends and family.  We will keep all information you send us confidential.  Networking is so important in fundraising!   Click on this link to see and print out the official letter from NJDSH President Lila Taylor – Letter for Major Donors.

NJDSH President Lila Taylor signed the MOU on August 16th, 2014

It’s now official!  During the 4th Annual Fundraising Picnic on August 16th, 2014, NJDSH President Lila Taylor formally signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Cardinal Capital Management (CCM).  This document is the first step to begin the development process of the deaf adult residence in New Jersey.  This is the result of 8 years of dedicated work by the NJDSH and New Jersey Association of the Deaf (NJAD).   This is a wonderful, important step toward to making our dream of Deaf Housing a reality in New Jersey!

NJDSH President Lila Taylor signing the MOU on August 16, 2014.

NJDSH President Lila Taylor signing the MOU on August 16, 2014.

Report on Pre-Development Meetings held on July 30th & August 1st, 2014

“NJDSH is on the way to having the dream of Deaf Senior Housing in NJ become a reality!”,  written by NJDSH Secretary Jane Cyran in this report about the meetings that were held on July 30 and August 1, 2014.  A wish list for the new deaf senior residence was created during the meeting with representatives from various organizations on July 30th.  On August 1st, a formal Pre-Development meeting was held with Cardinal Capital Management (CCM).  Click on this link to see the full report including the wish list and photos  – Report on July & August 2014 Meetings.

How a location is selected for the new deaf senior residence in NJ

Here’s the latest version of PowerPoint slides that was used during a meeting among the NJDSH executive board members and Erich Schwenker of Cardinal Capital Management, Inc. at Morris County Library on July 30, 2014.   This explains how North New Jersey is selected as a possible location for the new retirement community.

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Article about “NJ Deaf Housing Now” Forum

NJDSH Secretary Jane Cyran wrote an article about the forum that was held on March 17, 2014. Click on this link to read this article and see the photos – Article about “NJ Deaf Housing Now” Forum.