An Ambitious Vision
For over 90 years, the Chelsea Jewish Foundation has focused on improving the lives of elders and individuals with disabling conditions by creating new facilities, programs, technologies and services that foster greater well-being and better care. From its specialized assisted livings, to its award-winning programs and services for staff and employees alike, the Foundation has continually sought to create new standards and new paradigms of change within the healthcare industry.
In the spring of 2007, the Foundation found a new project that would improve the lives of individuals and families not just in the greater Boston area but across the nation as well. Barry Berman, CEO of Chelsea Jewish Foundation, took an immediate interest in the theory and implementation of the Green House® model concept for long-term care. At this time, such facilities had only been built in the Midwest, where large stretches of flat land were in greater supply than in cities and other crowded metropolitan areas. Believing in his organization’s mission and confident that such a model could be built in Chelsea, Berman researched the concept and met with Green House model advisors to determine if a Green House model facility could be created for an urban setting.
It was also during this time that Berman met Steve Saling, a landscape architect from Atlanta, at an ALS conference. Saling had just been diagnosed with ALS, a degenerative motor neuron disease. and the two conversed about the disease and the urgency for more research and improved care. From this fortuitous meeting, Berman was inspired to create the nation’s first urban model Green House that would include the nation’s first specialized ALS residence.
As a revolutionary facility focusing on life, well-being and the collective good-will of its residents and families, the project was so named The Leonard Florence Center for Living (LFCL) in honor of the late Chelsea-born philanthropist Leonard Florence.
The Urban Model Green House Comes to Boston
Working with federal and state officials and agencies, the Chelsea Jewish Foundation began soliciting support and donations for its revolutionary project. Berman also enlisted the help and expertise of his new friend, Steve Saling, to serve as counsel to the design and technology of the ALS residences. Wainwright Bank of Boston, noted for its longstanding support of community-based projects, worked with the Chelsea Jewish Foundation to finance the development of the project.
After many months of fundraising, approval and permit acquisitions, the Chelsea Jewish Foundation hosted its groundbreaking ceremony for the LFCL on September 17, 2009. Nearly a year and a half later in February of 2010, the Leonard Florence Center for Living opened its doors to residents from across the nation, offering a beacon of hope to those seeking a facility that could care for their medical needs while helping them live their life to the fullest. Learn more about the LFCL.
I believe in the work that the Foundation does because it believes in creating a better system, better facility, better program for the future. That matters to me.
I knew my mother would be well-taken care of at any facility that was under the Foundation, because of the reputation. And I was right.
This organization doesn’t treat my dad like a patient, they treat him like a person. He is given the best care possible, and it’s because they believe in treating the whole person, not just the illness.
I began volunteering at Foundation’s Chelsea Jewish Nursing Home and realized what a special place this was. Residents are happy, and the staff care. I enjoyed being here, too.