Writer / Amy Lant-Wenger
Photographer / Kari Lipscomb
Goshen was a rather different scene in 1962.
Sixty years ago, President John F. Kennedy was still leading the nation, and a gallon of milk cost a little over $1.
Yet even with all of the changes in the years that followed, one central theme reigns as the essence of the community. The people of Goshen have always demonstrated charitable acts of compassion and care toward one another. This is the spirit through which Greencroft Goshen was inspired, not so very long ago.
The seeds for what grew into the Greencroft network of nonprofit communities began within the walls of the Eighth Street Mennonite Church. The fellowship launched a program to assist church members who were widowed. Five years later in 1967, the mission took on the Greencroft name.
“We have a long history of putting people first in Goshen,” says Sheena Whitaker, director of marketing. “Our culture of kindness, family and faith runs deep.”
Today, Greencroft represents several networks of retirement communities located in various places throughout northern Indiana. Whitaker says that having a nonprofit status is an important distinction.
“It means we’re driven by people, not profit,” Whitaker says. “Every penny we make goes into creating a vibrant community and into the care of our people. It’s about a community that cares for each other – a continuing-care living community that provides a safe, secure environment for those 55-plus, with the options of independent living, assisted living and long-term nursing care.”
Greencroft’s Goshen community currently houses 1,100 residents, all of whom enjoy an impressive array of living options ranging from fully independent to assisted living to skilled nursing. “Greencroft Goshen creates a dynamic living community that embraces the creativity, contributions and challenges of aging for all, grounded in service excellence, compassionate care and Mennonite values,” Whitaker says.
Even the Greencroft name reflects the company’s principles, as the second part of the word is an acronym that highlights the residents’ well-being.
Creativity – Pursuing innovative solutions, creative ideas and ongoing improvement.
Respect – Showing courtesy, kindness, grace, mercy, patience and love for all.
Openness – Embracing our differences, listening to others’ points of view.
Fairness – Responding with careful consideration for all.
Teamwork – Working together to create memorable experiences, making this the best place to live and work.
So what else makes Greencroft Goshen so vastly different from similar neighborhoods? “Greencroft Goshen is different because it is a community within a community,” Whitaker explains. “We are a faith-based organization that believes in the values mentioned above. Residents have the opportunity to have a maintenance-free lifestyle, allowing them to be a vibrant part of the community.”
There are always plenty of group adventures and activities to keep residents connected. “We offer a wide variety including gardening, wellness center, theater, volunteering, drama clubs, trips and tours, wood shop and a clay artist studio,” Whitaker says. “Lifelong Learning courses, where we partner with Goshen College, are available to various groups who want to be a part of something like our environmental committee, which looks at ways to improve our campus’s environment by planting trees, solar power, recycling, etcetera.”
One special event that the Greencroft Goshen staff is eagerly anticipating is an open house for the newest independent-living housing development, known as Whispering Pines. This latest addition is comprised of homes ranging from 1,500 to 2,000 square feet, located on the southeast part of the campus. There are homes featuring two to three bedrooms, two baths and two-car garages.
“We are currently in phase two of three phases and have availability,” Whitaker says. “People can come pick from three styles of units and decide which lot is right for them. Greencroft Goshen is partnering with R. Yoder Construction to make this a perfect home in a beautiful, maintenance-free living community.”
The open house will take place on October 1 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at 1931 Whispering Pines in Goshen. Registration is not required, and everyone is welcome.
To learn more about the lifestyle options available to prospective residents, visit greencroft.org, or call 574-537-4000 for more information.