Wesley Homes launches fundraising campaign

Puyallup: Retirement community to break ground once $3.5 million is raised

Special to the HeraldJanuary 22, 2014 

Wesley Homes has launched a fundraising campaign to build a continuing care retirement community that would serve adults 62 and older, according to Susan McConnell, executive director of the Wesley Homes Foundation.

Nearly $500,000 has been raised to date. The company will break ground when $3.5 million — half the campaign goal — is raised, McConnell said.

Wesley Homes has raised awareness of the project since it was first announced in 2012. Team Puyallup, an active group of volunteers, is helping residents understand how they can be involved.

Community members and local businesses can support Wesley Homes Bradley Park with their advocacy and financial support, which includes many naming opportunities, said Jamie Gregory, the project’s campaign manager.

“We welcome the opportunity to speak to groups about the project,” Gregory said.

Gregory can be reached at 253-307-1529 for more information.

Wesley Homes Bradley Park will be built on a 14-acre property located on the north side of 39th Avenue Southeast at the intersection with 35th Avenue Southeast in Puyallup. The site is bordered by Bradley Lake Park and Lowe’s home improvement store. It will be east Pierce County’s first faith-based, not-for-profit senior housing campus.

“As a not-for-profit, we have a different way of serving the needs of older adults that focuses on the quality of care for each individual,” said Kevin Anderson, Wesley Homes president and CEO.

The Wesley Homes model provides a full continuum of care, from independent housing through skilled nursing and rehabilitative therapies.

A continuing care retirement community is defined as a part independent-living, part assisted-living and part skilled-nursing home designed to accommodate residents’ changing needs.

“We are working with an architect to develop preliminary footprint plans, which will aid us in estimating how much construction can be accommodated on the property,” Anderson said. “Getting ready to break ground is not an overnight process.”

McConnell said it’s an exciting time for Wesley Homes.

“Contrary to rumors, we are not ready to break ground,” McConnell said. “I wish that we had the funding necessary for us to move forward. How soon we can do so depends on the generosity of the community.”

Construction of Wesley Homes Bradley Park will generate more than 200 jobs for the $60 million project. All aspects of construction will be by bid. It also will create 45 full-time and more than 60 part-time jobs, McConnell said.

“We will be a great partner, neighbor and terrific addition to our community,” McConnell said.

Developing collaborative partnerships with such organizations as Pierce College, the Korum Family YMCA, Pacific Lutheran University and University of Puget Sound are important aspects of being part of the community, McConnell said.

Wesley Homes Lea Hill in Auburn opens its pool to children who use it for therapy, while some of the residents volunteer to help the children.

In collaboration with Green River Community College, plants have been placed in the wetlands on the Auburn property, and foreign language students go to Lea Hill to practice English with the residents who appreciate the social contact, McConnell said.

“Partnering is a win-win for both of us,” she added.

Wesley Homes is affiliated with the Pacific Northwest Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.

Linda Henry is a freelance reporter for the Herald.

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