Our History

The mustard seed that grew into Episcopal Place was sown by an elderly Episcopalian who wrote to Bishop Furman Stough, saying she was no longer able to live by herself and had no place to go. Her plea was expressive of the plight of thousands of older adults with fixed or limited incomes who either lived in apartments where rents were soaring or who were no longer able to cope with the responsibilities of maintaining a household.

Bishop Stough asked Jeanne Johnston of St. Andrew’s parish to look into a new federally subsidized housing program, Housing and Urban Development (HUD), for low-income elderly and disabled adults. Under her guidance, and with the help of nine supporting parishes, the Episcopal Housing Foundation, Inc. was formed.

Phase I, later to be called Episcopal Place I (EP I), opened in October 1980 consisting of 95 one bedroom and 5 two bedroom apartments. Ten apartments were built to accommodate deaf residents and 10 apartments were built to accommodate the mobility impaired.
Ground Breaking with Bishop

In 1988, responding to the aging-in-place phenomenon that occurred during the first decade of operation, the board of trustees began developing a supportive services program. This program, funded primarily from the supporting parishes and one-time seed grants from the Presiding Bishop’s Fund and the United Thank Offering, offered the coordination of community services. Those programs, including noon meals, transportation services, pastoral care and assistance with activities of daily living continue today and enable many residents to remain at Episcopal Place while maintaining dignity and safety. When residents can no longer remain safely in their apartments due to advancing dementia and other debilitating diseases, the Supportive Services Coordinator works with them and their family members to find alternative housing and care that will meet their needs.

With a two-year waiting list, in 1992, the board applied for a HUD grant to build 41 additional apartments on property adjacent to the original site. Episcopal Place II (EP II) opened in November 1995 and was full by January 1996.

Since 1995, the resident profile has changed dramatically, as have our challenges. Whereas the average age during the first 15 years was 75 at move-in, the average age now is 80. Whereas the average length of stay was formerly 12 to 16 years, it is now 12 to 16 months. Many of our new residents are in their 80s and 90s and quite frail.

Episcopal Place provides a unique opportunity for housing and meaningful participation in a caring community. It is that spirit of caring community fostered by board, residents and staff that sets us apart from other federally subsidized apartment communities.
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