History

Friends Village History


In 1896, the Salem Quarterly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends formed a 32 member Friends Boarding Home Committee to explore a way to meet the needs of elderly people living within the Salem Quarter, both Quakers and friends of Quakers.

By September 1897, a home for the in-firmed and aged was incorporated as a non-profit organization under the direct care of the Salem Quarterly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends. Friends Boarding Home officially opened its doors on November 15, 1897 with four boarders, two caretakers and a matron. The boarders paid $3.00 a week.

Over the years, Friends Boarding Home expanded several times. In 1905, a brick house in the center of Woodstown was purchased due to the need for greater space. Expansion was necessary again in 1911. The construction included the addition of an operating room and a kitchen.

New state and federal codes governing long-term care facilities made Friends Boarding Home obsolete in the early 1970’s. Rather than abandon its program for the aging, Salem Quarterly Meeting raised the funds to build a new complex.

Friends Home at Woodstown opened at its present location in 1976 with 60 residential beds and 42 nursing beds. Eighteen additional nursing beds were added in 1979.

The Board of Trustees, in the mid-1980s, established Woods Court. These eight, one-bedroom apartments are one of the independent living options at Friends Village.

To ensure the mission and viability of Friends Home, the Board of Trustees initiated a long-range, strategic planning process in 1995. The Village project was developed to establish Friends Home as a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) with the goal to offer older adults living options and healthcare services to meet their needs now and in the future.

A Groundbreaking Ceremony was held on November 21, 2003 to begin the expansion of the Friends Home campus. The Board of Trustees felt that a new name was necessary to incorporate the current and new living options into a single community. Friends Home, in January 2005, became Friends Village at Woodstown.

Friends Village held its Grand Opening Celebration and Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony on September 22, 2005. The campus features 47 independent living cottages, 20 independent living apartments, 45 assisted living suites with 20 designated for memory support residents, a 60-bed Residential Healthcare section, and an expanded 60-bed Skilled Nursing Unit. A new Commons Building serves as the central point of services on the campus.

As the new CCRC model was implemented, the Friends Village leadership realized that the demand for Assisted Living services exceeded the capacity of the campus. The Board of Trustees determined that renovation of an existing wing of the building could help address this need.  Renovation work in 2013 transformed a wing of the residential section into eight (8) single apartments with a “country kitchen” to serve residents’ dining and recreational needs.  The ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house for Hancock Gardens was held at the end of January 2014 and the first new resident joined the community in March.