director is retiring, leaving behind one big happy family
Sherry Necelis says she will miss the camaraderie of the
residents and visitors to Allen Terrace, the City-owned senior
housing building she has managed since 2007.
Photo by Liz Cezat
Sherry Necelis is retiring as housing director for the
City of Northville on Oct. 31. A farewell party, open to the public, is
planned for Monday, Oct. 30, at 1:30 p.m. at Allen Terrace, 401-A High
Sherry has served in the position since 2007. She was
interviewed for the job by the late Sue Hooper, who was then chairperson
of the Housing Commission, along with City Manager Pat Sullivan. Hooper
set up the computer library at Allen Terrace, which is named for her.
Sherry came to the job with 16 years of experience in senior
housing, having worked at American House as a manager who trained other
managers. She started her career at the Willow Tree women’s clothing
store on Biddle Street in Wyandotte.
As director, Sherry is
responsible for handling leases for the 100 apartments at Allen Terrace.
Office assistant Barbara Ziemba helps manage the office and greets
visitors. Sherry credits Kevin Parks, maintenance manager, and Esther
Martin, housekeeping, with keeping the facility clean and updated. She
also relies on Margo Schmidt for additional maintenance tasks and
oversight of the facility on evenings and weekends. Annually, she has
contracted vendors to make major repairs or replacements, including
updating the fire alarm system, the entrance ramp, parking lot, heating
and cooling system, windows and more.
The facilities aspect of
her job is balanced by the more nuanced role of taking care of the needs
of residents age 55 and older. Daily, she is a problem-solver,
cheerleader, and diplomate –creating a friendly, caring atmosphere. She
wants residents to be happy living there – with a good balance of
privacy and social activities. She takes a genuine interest in their
“I try to be positive at all times. Being negative
doesn’t help anybody,” she said. “I really appreciate all the
She also interacts with family members of
residents to make sure the residents are getting what they need – both
physically and emotionally. She strives to understand people’s
personalities and interests, so she can introduce residents to other
residents and encourage them to pursue activities they enjoy. The
building has a pool table, aforementioned computer library, book club,
euchre and more. It also is a hub for Meals on Wheels with meals served
in the dining room during the week.
Another part of her role is
working with the Housing Commission, which meets at Allen Terrace
monthly, September through June. She provides the information they need
to make decisions about policies and procedures at the senior
apartments. “They’ve been great,” she said.
She stays informed
on a myriad of senior issues, from Section 8 (low-income housing) and
the Fair Housing Act to managing finances. She also handles disputes
that sometimes erupt in a community of different personalities.
There’s also a Resident Council that holds meetings for residents, many
of which Sherry attends. They seek to resolve issues that arise and also
plan social events, such as summer picnics and parties.
retirement, Sherry plans to visit with family and friends, vacation in
Florida in the winter, and get her Lincoln Park home better organized.
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