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NORTHAVEN FOUNDATION
April 20, 2011

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.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

A common experience is revitalization and extended longevity of low income residents who enter with blank expressions and live out their days with renewed vigor and light in their eyes.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

My continuing goal is to perpetuate the present model and extend it to the greater community.

MY ROLE:
Board Member & I have participated as a board member sine 1968, serving as secretary for most of this time.