Construction on the future home of is only weeks away after heavy behind the scenes fundraising by employees and Executive Director Sharon Maier.
The organization serves seniors in the Grosse Pointes and Harper Woods in a variety of ways—from to minor home repairs to hosting social events and .
Currently housed in , the organization will be relocating in a little longer than a year to the Newberry House, located on Ridge and Muir Roads. The Newberry House once served as a residential unit for the nurses of Cottage Hospital.
It's been a number of years since the building, which has a residential appearance and feel to it from the outside, has been used. On Saturday, the organization held a community open house, allowing anyone who wished to tour it and see blue prints and renderings of what's to come.
The building will ultimately include two large ballroom style areas for large events and gatherings, in addition to a library, a multi-purpose room and the administrative offices. One of the large ballrooms willl be on the first floor and one on the third floor.
To accomplish the large rooms, the walls of the residential units that line the heart of the building will be knocked down, Deputy Director Katie Szynkowski said Saturday.
Maier said in addition to offering the organization appropriate space for events, it will also allow them to grow their programming and possibly offer more to seniors.
Meanwhile, Services for Older Citizens, commonly referred to as SOC, has been changing the place it calls home for 34 years, according to information the organization handed out Saturday.
Most recently, the organization was housed in the Neighborhood Club Building but had to move when . Now their offices are in the Henry Ford Cottage Medical Center.
Maier has been looking to find the organization a permanent home for at least the last several years. Now, Henry Ford Health System has donated the old residential nurses quarters to SOC.
Behind the scenes, employees of SOC have been working on fundraising to renovate and update the building. Thus far, they've raised nearly $1.9 million, Maier said Saturday. The campaign will continue and become more public in the coming weeks and months, she said.
The renovations to the building, which are slated to begin July 15 or 16, will cost approximately $1.5 million. Another half-million is necessary to fully furnish it when construction is complete and then another half-million for the industrial kitchen, Maier said.
Just this last week, Maier received a $50,000 donation from Grosse Pointe Farms resident Ruth Glancy. "It was just sitting there in the mail," Maier said, noting that donation pushed the fundraising to only $5,000 short of their $1.9 million goal. The ultimate goal is to raise $3 million but $1.9 was a benchmark along the way for organizers.
The donations were made mostly by individuals and a few organizations or trusts. There have been 193 donations so far, Development Director Angela Gabridge said.
Letters were mailed this past week to past supporters of SOC who have not already contributed and later this summer, letters will be sent to every resident in the five Grosse Pointes, Maier said.
The hope in August is to offer residents a specific donation, such as curtains, a window, a sink, etc., Maier said.