An Answered Prayer

“Being here at Thomas Square Apartments is like an answer to prayer for me.”

Joyce Moore, Thomas Square Apartments Resident

You could call Joyce Moore the ‘Grande Dame’ of Thomas Square Apartments. At 90 years young, she has called the senior apartment complex home for 14 years, longer than any other resident. It’s also a place she says she is grateful to have found.

The apartment complex is nestled in the heart of Burleson, Texas, and is owned by Volunteers of America Texas. The faith-based nonprofit provides housing to low-income seniors who might otherwise lack options for a place to call their own.

For Joyce, it was the perfect option after she discovered home ownership was too much of a challenge many years ago. Joyce had been widowed and her two daughters wanted her to live closer to them in Burleson. She purchased a home but found the daily duties and responsibility of maintaining it were just too much.

That’s when the pastor at her church entered the story. Pastor Emeritus Terry Williams of Boulevard Baptist Church was the first to encourage her to consider the apartment complex. He felt it was a place where she could be ensconced in a secure community of neighbors while still maintaining a level of independence—something very important to Joyce.

She first moved into an efficiency apartment and later upgraded to a one-bedroom. Her close friend Margie Ikeler was already a resident of Thomas Square and introduced her to the staff and other residents. It was an immediate, comfortable fit both for Joyce and her furry companion Benji who was as welcome an addition to Thomas Square as Joyce.

“I can’t live without him,” Joyce said of her dog. “He keeps me company and takes great care of me. He’s such a blessing to have around, especially the last year of two.”

Joyce was referring to the pandemic which required restrictions that challenged Thomas Square, its management, and the residents. Those restrictions meant fewer opportunities to socialize, and Joyce admitted missing the bingo games and fellowshipping with her friends.

But not even the pandemic could stop her 90th birthday celebration in September and outdoor National Neighborhood Night Out party in October. Or the December 2021 holiday event which she called “the best memory I’ve had” at Thomas Square. “I feel blessed to have such great staff at Thomas Square, especially Debbie,” Joyce said of Debbie Epley, the service coordinator at the apartments. “I enjoy the new staff; they work well together as a team to make sure we’re well taken care of.”

Housing Manager Amber Waldrop shares Joyce’s feelings. “Ms. Moore is such a blessing to us all here at Thomas Square. She is everyone’s mom and grandmother. We love her and are glad she is here with us to brighten our day.”

And Joyce has no plans to go anywhere else. “I will likely live here until I’m called to heaven,” she said. “Being here at Thomas Square is like an answer to prayer for me. We’ve got a good bunch of people running it.”