United Church Homes investing $3 million in upgrades to Pilgrim Manor in Grand Rapids

United Church Homes plans to invest nearly $3 million in upgrades to Pilgrim Manor, a skilled nursing and assisted living community in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

UCH, a national nonprofit, faith-based senior living provider based in Marion, Ohio, will create two-room apartments with full baths and kitchenettes starting in March.  The project is expected to be completed by Dec. 31.

Karen Messick, the new executive director of United Church Homes Management, said the makeover is much needed at Pilgrim Manor.

“It enables us to compete with the market demand, which ultimately makes the organization sustainable in the community,” said Messick, who has an office at Pilgrim Manor.

Renovations to Pilgrim Manor will come months after the community announced it had integrated with UCH, a 100-year-old aging services ministry.

Pilgrim Manor’s 19 United Church of Christ shareholder churches voted to approve the integration of the Pilgrim Manor into UCH June 29, 2016.  The integration was effective Nov. 1.

The integration increases UCH’s service area to 69 senior living communities in 14 states and two Native American reservations. UCH, one of the largest providers of senior living, has more than 1,500 dedicated staff serving 4,500 residents of all faiths.

For Pilgrim Manor, the integration will strengthen the community’s position in its local market, allowing Pilgrim Manor to grow its programs.

Pilgrim Manor has approximately 170 employees who have all been retained into UCH.  Leadership and decision-making will remain at Pilgrim Manor in Grand Rapids.

Messick said she is pleased with Pilgrim Manor’s new relationship with UCH.

“It’s a win-win for both Pilgrim Manor and United Church Homes,” Messick said.

The Rev. Kenneth Daniel, president and CEO of UCH, said he is excited United Church Homes is expanding into Michigan.

“We are pleased to partner with Grand Rapids, Michigan to provide affordable housing to seniors and expand our mission to transform aging by building a culture of community, wholeness and peace,” Rev. Daniel said.

Micki Benz, former chair of Pilgrim Manor’s board of directors, praised Pilgrim Manor’s new relationship with UCH and UCH’s investment into Pilgrim Manor.

“United Church Homes has elevated the profile of Pilgrim Manor,” Benz said.

About Pilgrim Manor:  Pilgrim Manor was conceived in 1955 by 12 Grand Rapids area Congregational churches, which are now mostly affiliated with the United Church of Christ.  It opened in 1963 as an assisted living community for retired seniors.  Pilgrim Manor later added skilled nursing services.  Today, it operates 55 Medicare/Medicaid dually certified nursing beds and 110 assisted living units on a 10-acre campus near downtown Grand Rapids.

About United Church Homes:  United Church Homes has been “Celebrating the Spirit” of seniors for a century.  The nonprofit, faith-based organization is one of the largest providers of senior living, with more than 1,500 dedicated staff serving 4,500 residents of all faiths in 69 senior living communities throughout 14 states and two native American reservations.  UCH is in covenant with the United Church of Christ and welcomes residents of all faiths.

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