The Presbyterian Homes mission statement
Presbyterian Homes is an independent, not-for-profit corporation providing the highest level of quality residential communities, health-care programs, and services for older adults from diverse backgrounds.
Through its programs and activities, Presbyterian Homes seeks to embody the values of the Christian tradition for persons of all faiths by attending to their physical, intellectual, social, emotional, and spiritual needs.
Through the Geneva Foundation, Presbyterian Homes assists older adults with limited financial resources. By offering a comprehensive continuum of care and a nurturing environment, Presbyterian Homes encourages older adults to experience the fullness of life in community with dignity, joy, and the maximum level of independence their health will allow.
Presbyterian Homes Vision Statement
Presbyterian Homes’ vision is to be a financially secure leader in the development of innovative and quality residential products, programs and services that enrich the lives of older adults.
Presbyterian Homes Core Values
- We will model the Christian values upon which we were founded in our service to persons of all faiths and socio-economic levels.
- We will treat all persons with respect and dignity.
- We will conduct all activities in an ethical and truthful manner and with the highest level of competence.
- We will provide a quality work experience to staff to ensure a quality residential environment and quality services for residents and patients.
- We will safeguard the confidentiality and privacy of residents, family members and employees.
- We will adhere to just and non-discriminatory practices in all activities.
- We will practice effective stewardship of human, financial and all other resources.
- We will comply with all laws and regulations that govern Presbyterian Homes.
We speak a different language: Our History
Presbyterian Homes is an award-winning organization and one of the country's oldest and most experienced providers of retirement living. A community of individuals with steadfast faith and rock-solid dedication transformed a simple call for help into a life-changing force, now in its second century of service to older adults.
In the early 1900s, rural family life had diminished as people flocked to cities. This shift in culture left a number of older people without resources, homes and families to care for them.
Seeing the effects of this dramatic shift was Norman Barr, a pastor at Mt. Olivet Church in Chicago. At a meeting of the Chicago Presbytery, an organization of Presbyterian leadership, Rev. Barr made a compassionate plea for help to establish a home for older Presbyterians with limited financial means. His request would lead to the creation of “The Presbyterian Home.” Its charter was registered on April 21, 1904.
Slowly, Rev. Barr’s vision began to manifest. Organizational structures were put into place, and funds were raised. In 1913, the Board of Directors purchased a house on Chicago’s Near South Side for the creation of a Presbyterian “Old People’s Home.”
Such an undertaking couldn’t be accomplished without significant help. The Presbytery brought together a group of women from Presbyterian churches across the Chicagoland area, and asked them to furnish and ‘keep’ the home. Twenty-one women became the first Women’s Board of Managers, and they were instrumental in the day-to-day operations of the new Presbyterian Home: cleaning, doing laundry, preparing meals, and assisting the older adults.
The demand grew quickly and soon the house was too small to accommodate those needing residence. Temporary space was found in Highland Park -- leased for only a dollar a year. This location allowed for an expansion from six to twenty-five people served. No matter how big the task, with the help of the Board of Directors and the Women’s Board of Managers, everyone was assisted, but the numbers of people asking for help continued to grow.
In 1915, Presbyterian Homes purchased a partially wooded 20-acre site in northwest Evanston for $12,000. Ground was broken in 1921 and, on October 11, 1922, ‘Geneva Place’ of the Presbyterian Homes welcomed its first residents. Eventually, as farmers retired, parcels of available land were purchased to complete the 40-acre site as it stands today.
Throughout these years, the Women’s Board of Managers continued to operate the home with the help of a handful of paid staff. The Women’s Board raised funds, handled admissions, oversaw the staff and planned enrichment activities. They also helped in the development of relationships with their home congregations across the region. The Board of Directors created relationships with influential families in Chicago and the Midwest that were vital to the growth of Presbyterian Homes. The mission drew generous approval and support, evolving in response to changing times.
Presbyterian Homes expanded to serve older adults of all faiths and economic means, hired staff to take on increased roles, and added nurses and other professionals to advance healthcare and supportive services. The Woman’s Board of Presbyterian Homes and other volunteers continued to serve in vital capacities.
The mission and practice of Presbyterian Homes has provided hope, security and comfort to thousands of lives over the last 100 years. This is the foundation of our community that has grown from humble beginnings to a national leader in retirement services.
Thanks to the generosity of various benefactors, several additions were made to the North Evanston campus. In the 1960's, Westminster Place was constructed with cottages, townhomes and apartments to serve older adults with greater financial resources. A modern health-care facility —the McGaw Care Center — was given by Foster McGaw in memory of his wife, Mary, to better meet the long-term care needs of older adults. In 1985, Evanston's King Home joined Presbyterian Homes. In 1990, the Wilson/Sidwell Apartments opened to provide assisted living as a bridge between independent living and health care. And, in 1991, Ten Twenty Grove was added as an additional option for independent seniors.
In 1996, construction began on a 49-acre site in Lake Forest. Lake Forest Place, a state-of-the-art retirement community, opened in 1998 and is home to more than 400 residents. In 2000, The Moorings of Arlington Heights, a continuing care community in the northwest suburbs, joined Presbyterian Homes.
Although our mission is evident in all that we do, Presbyterian Homes made its first move to expand its charitable impact beyond its borders as it launched the Neighborhood Homes Program on Chicago's north side. These affordable subsidized apartment buildings are for seniors who wish to remain in their Chicago neighborhoods. Turning apartments into senior communities, our first building, Peter Mulvey Place opened to residents in 1994. Crowder Place opened in 1998. Successful fundraising by the Geneva Foundation of Presbyterian Homes resulted in the purchase and renovation of a third building, Devon Place in 2009, in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago.
Today we serve a much more broad population than in 1904. During our more than 105 years of service, Presbyterian Homes continues to reach out to those in financial need, spending more than six million dollars annually on benevolent initiatives. We continue to honor the mission of our founders, who believed in providing joyful, engaging and spirited communities for older adults.
If you would like to know more about our history, please indicate your request on the Information Request Form. We'll send you our soft-cover volume entitled Our First Century.
CARF Accreditation: The standard of excellence
All Presbyterian Homes retirement communities have earned accreditation by CARF. Presbyterian Homes’ communities make up four of only fourteen continuing care retirement communities that are accredited in the state of Illinois.
Accreditation means that the organization has met or exceeded all of the commission’s standards of excellence in the areas of governance and administration; financial resources; and resident life, health and wellness. Presbyterian Homes residents, board of directors, and staff all participated in the process. This is the fourth time Presbyterian Homes has been accredited since the establishment of the Commission in 1985. Of the approximately 2,200 continuing care retirement communities in the country, only about 350 are accredited.
Download our annual report
Learn more about Presbyterian Homes in our current Annual Report.