I have been a member of the Northaven board from its inception in 1968 and residential opening in 1972. Throughout its decades of operation, Northaven has dominated the northeast skyline of the Northgate business community. Despite this long-term visibility, residents of north Seattle have remained surprisingly unaware of the underlying purpose, background and operation of Northaven. Such anonymity is not necessarily bad because it reflects an absence of operational and financial problems that often bring negative attention to retirement residences.
However, at this time the community needs a more general awareness of our underlying successes. Recalling a Walter Brennan line “..no brag – just fact..” from a long-gone TV series, our service can be and needs to be enhanced through a more general awareness of the presently unheralded successes of Northaven’s programs. In two adjacent buildings, we continue to provide independent and assisted living programs with home-like surroundings where residents feel vital and secure. This reality is indeed satisfying to those involved in these operations, but by itself does not make Northaven unique. Bragging rights come from our unmatched price structures. Implemented through dedicated staff, and augmented by interest subsidies from HUD in Northaven I (our original independent living residence) and Foundation grants in both buildings, our facilities remain full and waiting lists are growing.
Under such thriving conditions, it is appropriate to ask why greater community awareness is necessary. This need arises from a growing number of retirement-age people who are unable to subsist even minimally. Northaven’s mission of affordable housing and compassionate care extends beyond the present residents to the entire community. We can only address this mission through a thriving Northaven Foundation that establishes and maintains a more visible community presence. Towards this goal, a staff position for fund raising has been established where gifts and grants will be directed towards the perpetuation of affordable rent structures, the maintenance of existing facilities, and ultimately, the expansion of our program to the greater community. Despite the currently fragile economy, we are excited about the new and unforeseen opportunities that inevitably will arise permitting the greater fulfillment of our mission.
As the manager of a local bank in the Nortgate neighborhood of Seattle, I have worked with Northaven a number of years. Our bank provides banking services to a number of residents living at Northaven. The feedback from these clients is overwhelmingly positive.
I have the good fortune to be on the Foundation Board and see up close the care and attention this organization provides for their residents. In an environment of shrinking financial benefits, the Northaven Foundation works diligently to maintain the high quality of life experienced by staff and resident alike in both the assisted care living facility and senior apartment complex.
The Foundation Board has developed into a very well run, professional unit with diverse representaion from our local social and business communities. New Board members have brought sound guidance in all aspects of non-profit development and giving.
I am honored to be a member of this group.