United Church Homes is a byproduct of the law of cumulative effect — that is, what we do today is, by definition, added to the sum of what’s happened in the past. We are a ministry of promise, people, places, and programming. Ours is a story of growth and expansion, of persistent progress and ongoing improvement, of doing what we know to be good and just and right, in accordance with our Christ-inspired heritage and ideals. Ours is a history worthy of celebrating:
United Church Homes’ initial promise was, as an entity in covenant with the United Church of Christ and its predecessor denominations: the Evangelical and Reformed Church and the Congregational Christian Churches, to provide a “fair haven” for elderly members of the church. We are recognized by the Ohio and Indiana-Kentucky Conferences of the United Church of Christ, and an active member of the Council for Health and Human Service Ministries (CHHSM) of the United Church of Christ.
We have also promised to provide quality care and housing for residents, irrespective of their ability to pay, and made other decisions that have expanded our constituent base to serve an ecumenical resident population. Recent promises include the adoption of a nondiscriminatory policy to better serve the LGBT community, as well as a new vision statement that recognizes that UCH is where the Spirit creates Abundant Life in Community, with a mission to transform Aging by building a culture of community, wholeness and peace.
United Church Homes also fulfills promise in another way — where promise refers to potential instead of a solemn vow — and we are uniquely ready, willing, and able to pursue strategic options that will enable us to further expand our impact on the lives of others. This has been a central theme of our history since our inception, and will continue to be part of the legacy we look to leave.
For nearly 50 years, resident capacity growth was limited to the construction of additional accommodations at Fairhaven Community. For 20 years beginning in 1964, new and expanding healthcare communities fueled the organization’s growth. Since 1985, progress has been due to a combination of both healthcare and affordable senior housing communities, with an emphasis on the latter. UCH’s resident capacity has grown from a humble origin to serving more than 4,000 residents by 2016.
What began in a small home in Toledo is today an extensive and vibrant network of 68 communities located in 13 states and two Native American reservations.
The ministry was founded on the idea that the church should provide comfort and care for its aging congregants, and the original residents were not necessarily sick or infirm. They were simply old! From these modest origins evolved an organization that, in response to emerging needs among its resident population, transformed itself so that today it provides care and residential accommodations for a wide array of residents:
- Healthcare – skilled nursing care, memory care, behavioral care, long-term care, and short term rehab;
- Senior Living – residential living, assisted living, and independent living;
- Senior Housing – affordable housing for low-income seniors, including specialized communities for residents recovering from traumatic brain injuries, and those whose indigenous people culture require sensitive accommodations; and market rate housing.
For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.