The United Church Home Society, the United Church Home & Fox Run
Founded in 1877, the United Church Home Society is the second oldest provider of housing and health care in Erie County. Members of 6 German Evangelical Churches in Western New York formed the original UCHS with the mission of helping older adults find appropriate housing.
The Society’s first project was the United Church Home residential care facility for 25 seniors in Forks, New York. This property was sold in 1954 and the UCH relocated to Buffalo. The new building in Buffalo housed 70 residents. In 1976, the Samaritan Wing was completed, which increased residency at the UCH to 148. After 1988, the lack of an appropriate increase in Supplementary Security Income (SSI) began to take a serious financial toll on the UCHS and UCH. The UCH was closed, residents were transferred, and the property was sold in 2003.
Continuing a long-range plan that included a concern for the health care needs of the elderly, the UCHS purchased the Hilltop Nursing Home in Gasport, New York in 1976. Also at this time the United Church Colony Homes Corporation was formed to continue the skilled nursing care services provided for patients
and to offer a continuum of care for residents at the UCH. It was later sold in 1994.
In 1987, the United Church Manor opened in West Seneca, New York, providing 49 housing units subsidized by the US Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) for low-income seniors and people with disabilities. It was followed by Fox Run, a Lifecare retirement community located in Orchard Park, New York. Opened in 2007, Fox Run has been rated 5-stars by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), a rating only 10% of facilities receive nationally.
Plymouth Crossroads, a HUD-subsidized residence for homeless boys aged 16-20, was opened in 2011 in Lancaster, New York. The residence expands the mission and ongoing work of the UCHS and UCH to provide quality housing and care for youth. It is now the primary ministry for the UCH and receives support from Fox Run and the United Church Manor. Given the core service of the UCHS is focused on an aging population, Plymouth Crossroads became independent of the UCHS in 2013, but still retains its affiliation with the UCHS and all United Church of Christ (UCC) congregations.