When we interviewed longtime Forest Hills residents Margery and Mel Elfin in 2012, one thing they felt was lacking about the neighborhood is that it has no community center; no place where a large group of residents can meet, socialize and discuss community issues. Shortly after that, we learned that the Methodist Home retirement community is eager to help fulfill that need – for free.
More and more it feels like our community center, as it provides an open-door policy to community groups requesting a meeting space. Jennifer Marie Brown, director of admissions and marketing at the Methodist Home, writes about the history of its hospitality.
More than ten years ago, the Methodist Home opened its doors to a fledgling professional association known as the DC Senior Resource Group. What started out as a small handful of local elder care professionals grew to a monthly breakfast conference of 100 lawyers, nurses, social workers, geriatric care managers and other providers of senior care services.
Thus was the start of the Methodist Home’s open-door policy, welcoming various local professional and civic organizations to use its spacious assembly hall and well-appointed conference/board room. Other organizations that have taken advantage of the Methodist Home’s hospitality include the DC Health Care Association, Ward 3 Democrats, ANC 3F, Connecticut Avenue Pedestrian Action, DC Department of Transportation, the Delmarva Board of Directors, the Essex Condominium Association, Older Lesbians Organizing for Change, and Forest Hills Connection.
Starting in 2011, the Methodist Home initiated various programs and conferences in conjunction with IONA Senior Services and Seabury Resources for Aging.
In 2013, the Methodist Home and the Northwest Neighbors Village entered into a Memorandum of Understanding, in which the Methodist Home provides office and meeting space for the NNV staff, volunteers and Board members. NNV also runs a weekly yoga class at the home. The Methodist Home’s involvement with the “village movement” has also included hosting the Washington Area Village Exchange and volunteer training space for the Cleveland Park Village.
The most recent addition to the long list of guest at the Home is the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI). Starting with the 2013 fall semester, OLLI has been using the Methodist Home for classroom space for several of its well-attended and appreciated academic study groups.
Celebrating its’ 125th anniversary this April, the Methodist Home has been at 4901 Connecticut Avenue NW since 1926. Given its great location, beautiful amenities and warm hospitality, the Methodist Home has evolved as the community center for our area.