When 92-year-old Shirley Cohen moved into her apartment in the Samuel A. Green House in Elkins Park last October, work crews were putting the final touches on the 84-unit complex for low-income seniors — Federation Housing, Inc.’s first foray into Montgomery County.
In the 11 months since she first affixed a mezuzah to her front door, Cohen has made many friends. She told those in attendance at the complex’s Sept. 14 grand opening ceremony that “all of us who have moved here have found much more than a house to live in, we have created a home among people who are kind and generous.”
Eric Naftulin, executive vice president of Federation Housing, Inc., referred to the three-story complex, which sits upon more than five acres of land, as “our newest jewel in the crown.” He credited the generosity of the Daniel B. and Florence E. Green Family Foundation with enabling the agency to “sow the seeds” of a project that took six years to germinate.
The Foundation, managed by Richard J. Green, the vice chairman and chief executive officer of Firstrust Bank, made a $3 million donation to the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia for the express purpose of increasing the availability of safe and affordable housing for seniors in the region. This donation is the largest single gift in the 42-year history of Federation Housing, Inc., an agency that currently manages 10 subsidized rental apartment buildings which allow more than 1,450 senior adults to age in place with access to supportive services.
The complex is named for Green’s grandfather, Samuel A. Green, who founded Firstrust in 1934. Richard J. Green said he was certain that his grandfather would be particularly proud to have his name associated with a project that is closely aligned with his personal beliefs and values.
“My grandfather decided to start Firstrust Bank when one of his neighbors, who worked for the post office, was unable to obtain a mortgage for his home,” Green explained. “He wanted to help hard-working people in the community help to make their dreams come true and started the bank to help make that possible.”
Jewish Federation CEO Ira M. Schwartz expressed his gratitude to Richard Green — a member of the board of both Federation and Federation Housing — and to the entire Green family for setting “a shining example of philanthropy, passion and commitment.” Schwartz said that Federation is proud to partner with Federation Housing, Inc., and the Green Family Foundation on the Samuel A. Green House and other agency-managed buildings.
Green noted that 1,000 senior adults are currently on the agency’s waiting list for apartments. In the spirit of the Jewish New Year, a traditional time for new beginnings, he seized the opportunity to announce that “our foundation and Firstrust Bank will financially support the agency’s first complex in Bucks County.” Somerton Court, a complex of one- and two-bedroom apartments in Trevose, is expected to open in fall 2013.
For more information about Federation Housing, Inc., projects, visit: www.federationhousing.org.