MARY MEAUX — Community Retirement Home in need of donations; Port Arthur facility has special impact

Published 12:28 am Thursday, February 16, 2023

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I had the pleasure of meeting Travis Ferris and RaeNell Jones this week at Community Retirement Home in Port Arthur.

The two were named Valentine king and queen, an honor that surprised and pleased them.

After the photos were taken and it was time to sit down to eat, Jones offered some comments about being named queen. The senior citizen, who was dressed in red and adorned with a red crown, was humble and laughed a bit at her appearance.

Valentine’s King Travis Ferris, left, and Queen RaeNell Jones, right, pose Tuesday for a photo with Kim Guidry, director of Community Retirement Home. (Mary Meaux/The News)

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But she also said a few things not related to the occasion that struck me. She was appreciative of Community Retirement Home for the care they give.

She reached toward her chest to note the button she can press should she fall, saying she knows the staff there will, and does, take care of her.

I have passed by this building on Procter Street for as long as I can remember but had never been on the grounds or inside until Feb. 14.

As I walked the sidewalk to the entrance I noted a small stone marker that said “Gates Model Dairy 1900.” Once inside I spoke with Kim Guidry, director of the facility, who showed me an old photograph of the dairy farm that was once there. I don’t know what happened with the dairy farm but that’s a story for another day.

The retirement home began in 1944, when a group of Federated Mission Society members from several local churches formed a board of directors to discuss establishing a retirement home in Port Arthur.

The Procter Street building was chosen to house the residents and underwent a number of additions and changes through the years.

But I digress.

Community Retirement Home is currently home to 14 residents but can hold approximately 32.

The facility is said to be one of two nonprofit retirement homes in the state. It features private or shared baths in rooms, three family-style meals daily, weekly laundry and cleaning services, parking lot for personal vehicles, organized community outings as available and private areas for entertaining guests.

Other amenities include regular Bible studies, communion and worship services and planned activities in the home, such as bingo, puzzles, birthday parties, ice cream socials, wine and cheese gatherings, holiday parties and more.

The facility is supported by fees from residents, donations, grants and fundraisers. One of their major fundraisers dwindled down through the years partly due to the pandemic.

Community Retirement Home, which is private pay and has ambulatory and wheelchair residents, is in dire need of donations, officials said.

I’m happy that RaeNell Jones and other residents of the facility enjoy their home and the care they receive.

For more information, call 409-985-2270 or visit

Mary Meaux is a news reporter at The Port Arthur News. She can be reached at