In the spring of 1976 concerned Quakers in Northern California started exchanging ideas about an ideal community for older people. Exhilarated by shared concepts, the group incorporated as a nonprofit to explore ways to create reality out of these dreams.
Older people, it was felt, want to live independently with maximum exercise of personal choice in a caring and mutually respectful community where they participate and contribute as they wish. A supportive atmosphere created by trained and sensitive staff, dedicated volunteers, responsible management, and actively participating residents, was the goal. A small facility was planned, serving few enough people so that everyone could know each other. In all fifty apartments, a 30-bed skilled nursing facility, and a small, adult day health program were planned.
Loans were secured, concrete poured, apartments built, and in 1984 the first hearty residents moved in even before landscaping and other amenities were in place. Elizabeth Boardman, who was instrumental in the planning and visioning of Friends House, was also its first administrator.
For the first five years, Eskaton Health Corporation was the managing agent. The FASE Board, residents, staff, and the managing agent worked hard to establish a caring, democratically run community meeting the needs of the residents.
In 1988 two adjacent properties on Benicia Drive were purchased. One provided much needed office space and the other was renovated into a temporary six-person Assisted Living Center in 1990. This nascent service, Assisted Living, was the missing link for a full range of housing and care for elders. In 1994, these properties became the nucleus of Cluster D, when ten additional apartments and the new Residential Care Facility were constructed. Modest expansion continued when three houses were acquired. Four new apartments and a Fitness Center were added in 2004. Today, Friends House retains the atmosphere of a small, closely-knit residential community of elders living in 64 garden apartments and three multi-bedroom, two-bath houses. The campus is divided into four residential “clusters.” We have a six-bed Assisted Living Center and a 34-bed Health Care Unit.
Friends House is available to all persons single, married, or partnered, regardless of religion, race, nationality, or sexual orientation. We welcome diversity.