Connecting the seniors of our community with vital resources to improve the quality of their lives is one of our top priorities at Elders’ Helpers. We’ve found that the United Methodist Community House (UMCH) continues to offer excellent programs and resources to the seniors of our community designed to maintain or improve the quality of life. The UMCH offers healthy meals, assisted transportation, and even health education and screenings. Interested in learning more about the senior programs they offer? Click here to take a look at their Senior Programs Calendar.
After getting to know the story behind the United Methodist Community House, we’ve fallen in love with their organization even more. We wanted to share a little bit about their rich history in helping people of all ages in West Michigan for decades.
The history of the United Methodist Community House can be traced back to 1902 when a group of women from the First United Methodist Church of Grand Rapids came together to perform settlement work. Their goal was to assist new immigrants in becoming acclimated to the community. UMCH offers a variety of programs that span a lifetime through the Child, Youth, Adult and Senior Program Departments and serves as a place where the community gravitates for its daily necessities. Nowhere is this devotion to service exemplified more than in UMCH’s mission— “Increasing the ability of children, youth, adults and families to succeed in a diverse community.”
UMCH has a history of innovation, ranging from establishment of the first child care center in Grand Rapids to the first senior meals program. A six-week summer program for preschoolers became the precursor to the national Head Start program. United Methodist Community House opened the first day nursery—now known as a child development center—in Grand Rapids in 1936. Child care continues as a premier program today and is probably the best-known service in the community. UMCH also was the first agency to offer meal services to senior citizens; initially funded by private donations, Senior Meals became part of a federal network of senior meals programs in 1975. Today, seniors continue to receive hot meals and emergency assistance; they also participate in field trips, and health and wellness activities.
While these two programs are what the UMCH is best known for, we also have a variety of programs, to meet a variety of needs. An agency overview can be found in this VIDEO.
You can also learn more about the UMCH on their website: www.umchousegr.org.
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