West Seattle, Washington
The parent company of The Kenney has announced an employee has tested positive for COVID-19. Here’s what we received:
Heritage President and CEO Lisa Haglund confirmed today that The Kenney, a Heritage senior living community in West Seattle, has a staff member who has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus in their senior living community.
Haglund stated, “The staff member who tested positive is currently in quarantine, and will not return to work at The Kenney until further notice. All of our families have been notified. Out of an abundance of caution, all residents in Lincoln Vista at The Kenney will be quarantined for the next 14 days. All outside visits with families are cancelled during this time of quarantine. In accordance with HIPAA requirements, no further details will be released.”
Haglund shared, “At Heritage, the health and safety of both our residents and staff is of the utmost importance, and we are taking action to reduce the risk of exposure for all. The steps we are implementing are directly tied to the recommendations and guidelines of the CDC, and state, local, and federal regulations, and we will adjust these steps if those recommendations change. To date, we consider ourselves lucky to have limited our exposure as a result of the pro-active efforts of our staff working in conjunction with our COVID-19 task force.
Heritage has taken multiple steps to help prevent exposure for residents including restricting all visitors, daily employee and resident health screenings in accordance with CDC guidelines, and no group activities.
She continued, “Our COVID-19 task force has been preparing for this possibility, and we believe our incredible team of caregivers is well trained and ready to support our residents.”
ADDED 11:43 AM SATURDAY: In a followup exchange, Heritage offered to have Chief Clinical Officer Jeremy Rutter talk with us by phone this morning. Here’s what else we learned:
-This is actually the third positive test associated with The Kenney. A resident recently tested positive after becoming ill and being admitted to a hospital; before that, a staff member had tested positive in a test administered by their personal health-care provider. This new result is the first one from testing done by medical staff at The Kenney.
-Rutter says they’ve done three recent rounds of testing among residents and staff, and will be re-testing everyone “in about a week.”
-Because of the new case, all staff are wearing “head to toe” PPE, masks, eye shields, bonnets, gloves, gowns, booties.
They’re also working with Public Health Seattle-King County, he said, to be sure they’re doing everything they can to protect residents and staff.
Anyone have masks you haven’t donated yet? New request just in:
Hello, West Seattle Neighbors,
My name is Charlie Austin and I work with the activities department here at the Kenney Home on Fauntleroy Way SW, just north of Lincoln Park.
We are in dire need of N95 masks (or any cloth Masks) for our nursing staff here at the Kenney as well as gloves and PPE and are looking to the community to see if anyone has this equipment that they would be willing to donate to us. We have been working very hard to maintain the health of our residents and so far have been completely successful in keeping COVID-19 outside our doors. But in order to continue this level of safety for those living here we need to have access to masks, in particular, which are running in short supply.
The Kenney has been a West Seattle mainstay since 1907 when the Seattle city fathers established us. Many of you know us firsthand. Your grandparents and great-grandparents may have retired here.
Please help us continue to keep them safe and healthy. If you have anything that you would be willing to donate to us, we would be ever so appreciative. Simply bring them to The Kenney, 7125 Fauntleroy Way SW. We have a circle drive at that address which drives right up to our front door. I, or one of our employees will greet you there and bring the donations inside to make sure we stay C-19 free.
Thank you very much for your help in this stressful time and for helping us keep your parents and grandparents safe.
With much gratitude,
The Kenney Home
Before we get busy with another day of news, bridge followups, etc., some video:
The balcony singalong happened at The Kenney – which recorded the video – last Friday, at the Ballymena Apartments on the retirement-living campus north of Lincoln Park. To protect residents, they’re barring visitors except for “end-of-life situations.” As a result, they have a “pen pal” program going, as we’ve reported.
Here’s something kids can do – adults too – to help seniors, who are isolated more than ever in an attempt to keep them safe. Natalie from The Kenney sent this announcement:
Are you wanting to make a difference and brighten a senior’s day during this difficult time, without much effort or money? We are looking for volunteers to join The Kenney Pen Pal Program. You can connect with our community’s wonderful seniors, whether you’re young or old. You can bring joy and happiness to a resident, while keeping them safe in their apartment at The Kenney!
How to participate:
1. Start by writing a handwritten letter introducing yourself and asking the resident questions about themselves.
2. Mail letter to “My Future Pen Pal” at the address below:
7125 Fauntleroy Way SW
Seattle, WA 98136-2008
3. Please include an address for the resident to mail back their return letter.
4. The Kenney staff will assign each resident wanting to participate a pen pal and will help residents send their letters back out to their pen pals.
We’re building a West Seattle “how to help” list – if you have something for it, email@example.com – thank you!
Received from The Kenney retirement complex in West Seattle:
John Cruz, The Kenney Executive Director, has announced that The Kenney, a Heritage senior living community in West Seattle, has issued a voluntary stop placement on all visitors.
The Kenney currently has NO confirmed cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus, they are taking precautions.
Cruz shared, “At The Kenney, our residents and those we serve are our highest concern. The health and safety of both our residents and staff is of the utmost importance, and we are taking action to reduce the risk of exposure for all. In following Governor Inslee’s orders as of today, 3/10/2020, The Kenney is issuing a proactively voluntary stop placement. Our staff have been well trained in preparation to support our residents.”
Effectively immediately, The Kenney will restrict all visitors except for those visiting end-of-life residents. End-of-life residents may have one visitor per day, age 18 or older. All visitors will be screened for illness before being allowed to visit using a screening questionnaire. To reduce the spread of influenza and other respiratory illnesses, The Kenney is also restricting all visitors younger than 18 years of age until further notice.
Presently, any individuals, including vendors and employees, are being screened daily before entering a building. Ancillary services should provide and were wear personal protective equipment (PPE) due to the crisis. Those who exhibit any symptoms, have recently traveled, or have been near anyone ill with symptoms are not currently being granted entrance.
The Kenney staff have prepared extensively, and Executive Director John Cruz shared he has confidence in the team. “The Kenney and Heritage have taken a proactive approach to prevent the spread and transmission of COVID-19 within its communities. Heritage has formed a COVID-19 task force, including experts in the fields of nursing homes, and senior housing.”
Today’s Seattle-King County Public Health update on COVID-19 notes that 10 long-term-care facilities in the county “have reported residents and/or employees who tested positive for the virus”; none are in West Seattle.
As previewed in today’s highlights, you’re invited to enjoy a barbecue on the back lawn at The Kenney (7125 Fauntleroy Way SW; WSB sponsor). Live music:
The Silverbacks, playing The Kenney’s community BBQ until 7 pic.twitter.com/CR2Av6cFfW
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) August 16, 2019
The theme is Hawaiian, but you don’t need an aloha shirt – although The Kenney’s executive director John Cruz is sporting one:
The barbecue’s on until 7.
A new executive director has just been announced for The Kenney (WSB sponsor). Here is the announcement we received this afternoon:
David Smeltzer, CEO of Heritage Ministries has announced that John Cruz, MBA has been named the Executive Director of The Kenney in West Seattle.
A graduate of San Francisco University with a degree in Organizational Behavior Studies, Cruz earned his Master of Business Administration from the Marylhurst University in 2017, and has extensive experience in the senior care industry, previously serving as the Executive Director of a senior living community in Oregon.
“We are excited to have John join our team at The Kenney as the new Executive Director. We believe his expertise, prior experience, and passion will add tremendous value to our organization and our residents. Over the past 4 years, the collaborative partnership between The Kenney and Heritage Ministries has allowed both organizations to flourish in their mutual passion and mission to serve seniors. We also see tremendous opportunity, in both the immediate and long term future of our industry and our companies,” said Bruce Erickson, Heritage Vice President of Senior Housing.
Cruz will oversee daily operations of all aspects at The Kenney, West Seattle’s only CRCC community, including Independent Living, Assisted Living, and Memory Care. “I am excited to be joining the team at The Kenney, and the long history surrounding it. My short time here has been enriched by staff and resident open arms. I look forward to being part of the future here at The Kenney,” he stated.
Heritage Ministries, the parent company of The Kenney, was founded as the Orphanage and Homes of the Free Methodist Church in 1886 and has grown from its original campus in Gerry, NY, to six locations in New York with additional affiliations in the states of Washington, Illinois, and Pennsylvania. As a not-for-profit provider of senior care and housing, Heritage is a leader in the industry, employing approximately 1,500 team members, and serving over 2,500 individuals annually. With locations in New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Washington, Heritage and its affiliates provide rehabilitation and skilled nursing services, memory care, independent retirement housing, and assisted living. The Homestead Stables provides intergenerational equestrian opportunities as well as boarding, training, and lessons. In addition, child care is provided at two campuses, allowing for intergenerational programs.
The Kenney is at 7125 Fauntleroy Way SW.
Today we welcome one of our newest sponsors, The Kenney. New WSB sponsors get the chance to tell you about who they are and what they do – here’s what The Kenney would like you to know:
(WSB file photo)
The Kenney is West Seattle’s original senior-living community. The Kenney has been a beloved icon, serving seniors in West Seattle since 1909. Representatives of The Kenney are proud to say that what started as one couple’s dream is now one of the most respected nonprofit retirement communities in the region.
In 2015, The Kenney affiliated with Heritage Ministries for additional stability. Through this partnership, The Kenney can ensure that it is well positioned for future stability and growth as a 501c3 nonprofit Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC), sometimes known as a life-care community.
With three distinct living levels, each with services and features designed to support current and changing needs, residents may enter The Kenney in any of the three living levels as appropriate. Gourmet dining service offers three daily meals, with a focus on organic and locally sourced delicious foods. With a lifestyle free of home maintenance, residents are able to take full advantage of many life-enriching opportunities to socialize, enjoy fitness, engage in the arts and current events, and get out and about with transportation for shopping, events, and appointments.
Independent Living at The Kenney
The Kenney is a perfect home for an active, relaxed lifestyle in the heart of West Seattle, with its many parks, beaches, restaurants, and shops close at hand. Independent living is offered in apartments located in the Ballymena, Seaview, and Sunrise buildings. The Kenney offers more than 100 beautifully appointed Independent Living Apartments ranging from the coziest studio to spacious 2-bedroom apartments with patios and stunning views. They have also recently announced plans to build 5 row houses which will include private garages, with construction slated to begin in late 2019. The apartments and row houses come in a variety of sizes and are customized with choices of finishes, appointments, and features to suit individual tastes. Entering The Kenney at this level allows the resident to experience the full benefits of community living, with a safety net of support services for current and future needs.
Assisted Living at The Kenney
The Lincoln Vista apartments offer a unique residential experience of maximum independence and privacy, with staff ready to offer support and services as needed 24/7. Studio and one-bedroom apartments include kitchens and accessible bathrooms. Services include three meals daily, weekly housekeeping, laundry service, and activities. A team of licensed nurses and nursing assistants offers services adjusted to the need of each resident, including a higher level of care that may help a resident avoid the need for long-term nursing-home care. Monthly fees correspond to the size of the apartment and level of service needed.
Memory Care at The Kenney
The Kenney offers memory care in a secured residential environment. With only 12 apartments, Memory Care offers all of the benefit of Assisted Living with the addition of specialized programing, in a small intimate setting. The design of the memory-care area enables residents to enjoy the privacy of individual apartments and the freedom to stroll and socialize in a secure environment. A staff of licensed nurses, nursing assistants, and activity professionals is specifically trained to assist residents with memory difficulties caused by Alzheimer’s and other dementia illnesses. With the support of staff, residents are stimulated to socialize, exercise, engage in the arts and participate in learning
For more information on The Kenney, or to schedule a tour of their facilities, visit thekenney.org or call 206-937-2800.
We thank The Kenney for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news via WSB; find our current sponsor team listed in directory format here, and find info on joining the team by going here.
Last week we reported on the $5.2 million listing for properties owned by, and adjacent to, The Kenney (WSB sponsor). The site at 46th/47th/Othello was at one point under consideration for redevelopment as apartments. Since last week’s mention of the listing, we’ve received an update on The Kenney’s status and future plans from its operator Heritage Ministries:
The Kenney is currently affiliated with Heritage Ministries, a New York, not-for-profit provider of senior housing and services for the elderly. Heritage Ministries operates in four different states at 9 different locations including The Kenney in Seattle. The Kenney formally affiliated with Heritage just over 3 years ago after many years of financial struggles and 2 years of interim management under an agreement with Ontrack Solutions, a for-profit management company.
When The Kenney affiliated with Heritage in May of 2015, it had secured debt of $21.8 million and was losing over $3 million per year. As a result of the affiliation and under Heritage’s oversight, the overall secured debt now stands at under $15 million and annual losses have been drastically curtailed, but there is still work to be done.
With this new affiliation, The Kenney has begun taking steps to become a more viable, long-term retirement option for seniors in West Seattle. A significant step was taken earlier in 2018 when The Kenney ceased to operate skilled nursing beds at the location. According to President David Smeltzer, “The 20-bed skilled nursing unit was not a viable product. It was too small to be able to operate efficiently, was comprised primarily of semi-private rooms, and could not compete with larger facilities for the more profitable, short-term rehab portion of the business. We saw an opportunity to reduce operating losses while providing very similar care and services in our Lincoln Vista assisted living apartments which are all private units consisting of both efficiency and one-bedroom apartments. We now offer many of the same services in a much newer building and in a much nicer environment.”
The Kenney is now in the process of totally renovating the old skilled-nursing area along with another former assisted-living wing to create a much more appealing memory care unit that will also enable it to increase the number of residents served with these needs from 13 to 20 with more room to grow in the future. This space will also offer private rooms, larger dining and activities spaces, and an improved access to outdoor spaces.
In addition to these moves to improve the facility, The Kenney has been gutting and remodeling the older apartments in two original buildings, Seaview and Sunrise. When Heritage took over, many of these units did not even have kitchens. Under this new leadership, smaller efficiency apartments have been combined to make much more appealing two-bedroom and one-bedroom units.
In addition, The Kenney is also well into the process of constructing 5 new townhomes on the corner of Fauntleroy and SW Othello. They have been working with architects Shoesmith Cox, who designed the units and is leading the project through the City of Seattle permitting process. The Kenney is hopeful that construction on these homes will begin in 2019.
Two years ago, The Kenney held a meeting with community residents to discuss the townhome project as well as plans to build additional apartments on the corner of 47 Ave SW and SW Othello. However, with further analysis, Kenney management has determined that a more critical need for The Kenney is the continued improvement of its existing facilities and infrastructure. The revised plan calls for complete renovations of all existing buildings and apartments, the improved Memory Care unit referred to above, brand new elevators, and perhaps most importantly, a brand new dining facility to be built above the current Memory Care unit. This new dining facility will offer a variety of seating options with restaurant-style dining and provide a better flow of traffic through the facility for residents and guests alike.
President and CEO Smeltzer stated, “Due to the financial struggles The Kenney had prior to their affiliation with Heritage, The Kenney was unable to keep the facilities up to date and provide the
amenities which a retirement community in today’s market is expected to provide. We are working hard to overcome these obstacles to create a safe, secure, and appealing environment where seniors from West Seattle and beyond can find an affordable option for retirement with a continuum of vital services. We believe this can best be accomplished by accessing the capital that currently exists in the community rental properties on 47 Ave. SW and using it to bring The Kenney up to current standards while assuring that we maintain its rich history.”
The new townhomes at Fauntleroy/Othello were described at last July’s Morgan Community Association meeting. The skilled-nursing closure was first announced more than a year ago.
When The Kenney (WSB sponsor) first announced its “new and different” expansion plan two years ago, the rental properties it owns to the southwest of its campus were envisioned for redevelopment as an apartment building. Now apparently that idea’s been scrapped, as the sites, which currently hold 15 units (three triplexes, one fourplex and one duplex), are on the market for $5.2 million, under the umbrella “The Kenney Assemblage.” The retirement complex appears to still be pursuing plans to build new townhouse units to the east of the land that’s up for sale, as they’re being marketed prominently on The Kenney’s website and have been going through the permit process since last spring. It’s now been seven years since The Kenney, under different management, scrapped a $150 million redevelopment plan.
Yet another stop on this busy Saturday – The Kenney (WSB sponsor) is welcoming visitors for a rummage sale, bake sale, and bazaar!
7125 Fauntleroy Way SW, until 3 pm.
THE KENNEY’S NEWEST REDEVELOPMENT PLANS: John Shoesmith from Shoesmith Cox Architects (based in Madison Park) explained what’s on the drawing board now. He explained that the site remains a mix of zones – LR1 and LR3. The three duplexes on the property’s southeast corner will be taken down and replaced with five rowhouses, two facing Fauntleroy, three facing Othello. They will range 2,000 to 3,000 square feet, with attached garages, master bedrooms on the main floor, and are aimed at attracting a “more independent” and somewhat younger (65ish) resident. They will be 1 1/2 to 2 stories high. A driveway off the SW Othello cul-de-sac west of Fauntleroy will lead to the garages of the units facing that street. The exteriors will include some brick, “cement wood” siding; street trees are planned on 46th, Fauntleroy, and Othello. The corner will be highlighted by an “amenity space” as required by zoning – landscaping, a bench, etc.
They’re currently in the Master Use Permit application stage with the city, seeking land-use approval, and filing soon for a building permit. They will be part of The Kenney rather than offered for sale. We asked a couple followup questions, recalling the meeting almost two years ago at which this same architecture firm discussed concepts for site redevelopment; no rezoning proposed right now, and the idea of an apartment building further west on the site is still out there, but nothing formal being pursued right now.
35TH SW PHASE 2 UPDATE: SDOT’s Jim Curtin was here to talk about 35th SW Phase 2, which we first detailed back in April. He said there’s been a “modest reduction in crashes” since Phase 1 was complete in fall 2015, and they’d like to see more of a reduction. He acknowledged that the signal timings have been less than optimal. They’ve been tweaked and “we’re seeing a pretty good flow out there” now, he said. He also acknowledged that before the timings were changed, they saw some diversion to side streets, and that, he said, has since eased.
Three quick development followups:
MORE DETAILS ON JUNCTION PROJECT: On March 30th, we brought you first word of an early-stage plan for a mixed-use project at 4508 California SW. We spoke briefly with property owner Leon Capelouto, who had no additional details to share. Since then, a document that’s appeared in city files provides a few details – a rough outline for 70 residential units, 34 parking spaces, 5,450 “commercial and back of house” square feet, which compares to the 4,690 square feet of commercial space in the buildings that would be demolished. The project remains in the early, pre-application stage.
MORE DETAILS ON AVALON PROJECT: In November, we reported on an apartment building proposed for 3084 SW Avalon Way – at the time, documents did not indicate the size or unit count. The project will be going through Administrative Design Review – no meeting, but there will be a call for public comment – and the city project page says it’s planned for 7 stories and 35 apartments, with no offstreet parking.
PROJECT AT THE KENNEY: Thanks to Mike and Colby for pointing out the signs that have gone up around the perimeter of The Kenney (7125 Fauntleroy Way SW):
It’s been a year and a half since the retirement center’s management/ownership previewed their scaled-back plans for redevelopment. The notice now is for part of the plan – five townhouses in two buildings on the south side of the site. We inquired with The Kenney to find out more; spokesperson Angela Johnston replied, “The new development will include several townhomes that will be offered to people age 62+. As part of The Kenney model, those residents will pay a one-time entrance fee and a monthly fee (similar to rent), which will include a variety of services and amenities. They will essentially have the best of both worlds – living independently in a single-family home, while reaping the benefits of community life with their peers.” And she says they expect to have a timeline and more details soon about other “renovations and programming changes that are happening throughout The Kenney campus.” Meantime, the signs’ appearance and official application for the townhouse construction indicates an official comment period should be opening soon – watch the Land Use Information Bulletin. (ADDED THURSDAY: And indeed, the notice is in today’s LUIB – the comment period is open through May 9th.)
The Kenney has announced that it’s closing its skilled-nursing facility, known as its Health Center. In a news release, The Kenney’s management calls the closure part of “a new direction for care services” and says the center’s “small size … has limited what we are able to offer our residents. … In making this change, the Kenney will be joining a growing number of continuing-care retirement communities nationwide who are moving away from operating their own skilled-nursing facility on-site.”
In response to our followup questions, The Kenney’s executive director René Dumas says 15 people are currently living in the Health Center, which has 20 beds, and that almost half of them are there for “short-term stays … for rehabilitation prior to discharge to home.” The facility says the center’s residents “are being offered assistance with the transition.” That’s also what they say they’ll be doing with an unspecified number of employees who will be affected. Dumas also says that after its closure on February 1st, the area now used for skilled nursing care “will be used for memory-care services.” Elsewhere at The Kenney, Dumas adds, “We plan to use a wing that has not been used for two years as expanded assisted-living services (more care services than our existing assisted living in Lincoln Vista).”
THE KENNEY REZONE PROPOSAL: We first reported two weeks ago on retirement-housing complex The Kenney‘s plan to expand via rezoning to add an apartment building with about 40 units on the southwest side of its property, and possibly townhomes on the southeast corner (rendering above). A “contract rezone” will be required, and city online files now show that the process has begun. The official notice isn’t out yet but it’ll be at Land Use Permit #3026106.
20 APARTMENTS @ 9447 35TH SW: This early-stage proposal just appeared in city files today – 9447 35th SW (map). It would replace a small commercial building with a 20-unit apartment building including 1,200 feet of commercial space.
SW HOLDEN SUBDIVISION SITE CLEARING: Thanks to the neighbor who pointed out site-clearing for the 18-house subdivision at 2768 SW Holden (map):
The project has been in the works for at least four years (backstory here) and finally moved toward construction earlier this year after Jabooda Homes bought it for $2.2 million.
COMMENT PERIOD FOR 4754 FAUNTLEROY: Today’s edition of the city-circulated Land Use Information Bulletin includes official word of the land-use-permit application for 4754 Fauntleroy Way SW, the 7-story project with 108 apartments and 10 live-work units proposed for the former Capitol Loans site (and the parking lot north of it) at Fauntleroy/Edmunds. You have until November 2nd to comment; the notice explains how. The project still has at least one more Southwest Design Review Board meeting ahead (no date yet); it passed Early Design Guidance in August.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
“The senior population is growing and we don’t have the type of housing they want.”
That’s what The Kenney‘s executive director Larry Foss told about 50 people at a community meeting, explaining why the 125-year-old retirement complex north of Lincoln Park is launching a “totally new and different” expansion plan.
What he and others made clear at Thursday night’s meeting is that the plan to add some housing on the south side of their block is nothing like the “pretty grandiose plans” scrapped five years ago, leaving The Kenney with financial challenges. To underscore that, Foss stressed that “the people who (were part of that) are not a part of The Kenney any more.” The board is new, the management is different, the affiliation is different.
In 2014, The Kenney announced plans to affiliate with East Coast-based Heritage Ministries, whose CEO David Smeltzer also serves as Kenney CEO and was part of the presentation, as were architects John Shoesmith and Steve Cox.
Before getting to the new plans – which are still in their early stages, the Kenney executives said – they offered some context on their organization and what’s happened since it took over.
(WSB file photo of The Kenney)
Tomorrow (Thursday) night, the retirement center at 7125 Fauntleroy Way SW is hosting a “community meeting” announced earlier this month with this description: “We want you to hear about changes that have taken place in our community over the last 18 months and to share with you some of our plans for the future.”
The meeting’s been listed in the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar a while. In the past few days, The Kenney has distributed hard-copy invitations to nearby residents, prompting several to contact us about it.
This morning, we talked with Larry Foss, The Kenney’s executive director, to find out more about those “future plans.” First, we checked online files, and the only thing that’s in the city-permit system is for what he called some “internal renovations.” But, Foss said, there’s one potential project they’re considering, and want to talk with neighbors about: “Increasing the amount of independent senior housing” on The Kenney’s campus.
Right now, the “independent” housing on site is at the Ballymena Apartments on the west side of The Kenney. Foss says that 34-unit building has a waiting list, so that’s why they want to talk with neighbors as a “first step” toward a possible expansion. (In the original circa-2008 Kenney expansion plan, that building was to be demolished and new apartments were to be built around the campus. But The Kenney has gone through a lot of changes since then, including adding a memory-care unit in 2012.)
He added that the meeting is also a chance for community members to learn more about Heritage. It’s at 6:30 pm Thursday (September 29th) in the community rooms on The Kenney’s lower level, all welcome.
We’ve already previewed some of tomorrow’s big events – and here’s another: The Southwest Seattle Historical Society‘s annual benefit tour, “If These Walls Could Talk,” takes you behind the scenes at The Kenney. Its century-plus-old grounds include the city-landmarked Seaview Building (with the cupola you see in our photo taken earlier this week at sunset from nearby Solstice Park). The SWSHS site has full details on the 3-5 pm tour, including a video invitation from the great-great-great nephew and niece of The Kenney’s founders Samuel and Jessie Kenney. Admission by donation, $10 for SWSHS members, $15 non-members. (The Kenney is at 7125 Fauntleroy Way SW.)
Great morning for a walk (-a-thon)! In this morning’s West Seattle Tuesday preview, we mentioned the first-ever Walk-A-Thon at The Kenney (WSB sponsor), raising money for its Resident Care Fund, which helps ensure that people living there don’t have to move if their lives outlast their assets. We stopped by around midway through, and were told about 50 residents and staffers already had joined in the walk around the west lawn of The Kenney’s landmark Seaview Building.
The Kenney senior living community of West Seattle has cleared all of the necessary hurdles to complete its affiliation with Heritage Ministries, a New York nonprofit, faith-based organization. As a result of the completed affiliation, the amount of The Kenney’s outstanding secured debt will be reduced almost in half from $21.3 million to $10.7 million, a reality that greatly improves The Kenney’s financial position, assuring The Kenney’s ongoing mission to serve seniors in West Seattle.
Heritage Ministries has roots in the Free Methodist Church with sister organizations, such as Seattle Pacific University, in the Seattle area. The legal affiliation of the two organizations has been accomplished by way of Board control. Governance documents of The Kenney have been modified to reflect that Heritage Ministries is now responsible for the appointment of members to The Kenney Board of Directors. The Kenney will remain a nonprofit organization and will continue to have a board of volunteer directors with at least 1/3 of the directors required to be residents of the State of Washington. Resident agreements will be honored and the benevolent care fund for residents will continue.
The Kenney has been operating under an administrative services agreement with Heritage since December of 2014.
It’s been a long journey for The Kenney (WSB sponsor) over the past six years, including starting and canceling a major overhaul plan. Today, a big announcement – The Kenney is affiliating with New York-based Heritage Ministries and reducing its debt. Here’s the announcement:
The Kenney senior living community of West Seattle has signed a letter of intent to affiliate with Heritage Ministries, a nonprofit, faith-based organization. Through this planned affiliation, The Kenney has also signed a purchase agreement with its current lender to purchase its outstanding debt at a 50% discount.
Heritage Ministries has roots in the Free Methodist Church with sister organizations, such as Seattle Pacific University, in the Seattle area. Heritage Ministries and The Kenney intend to affiliate and to maintain the mission of serving seniors in West Seattle. The Kenney will remain a nonprofit organization and will continue to have a board of volunteer directors. Resident agreements will be honored and the benevolent care fund for residents will continue.
The level of debt incurred by The Kenney was the result of construction of a new assisted living and community space in the 2000s. The construction and loans had occurred prior to the economic downturn and current operations could not sustain that level of debt. The Kenney worked with its lender, Sovereign Bank, for several years to maintain operations and to continue to service the needs of The Kenney’s residents. Ontrac Management Services was brought in to work with The Kenney in summer 2012 after the organization had defaulted on its loan.
In Spring 2014, Sovereign Bank sold The Kenney’s loan to a private lender who agreed to honor the resident contracts and allowed the organization to continue its nonprofit status. In October 2014, the same lender notified The Kenney that it needed to sell the debt before the end of the year. Ontrac Management Services was asked by The Kenney board of directors to find a lender and/or other nonprofit organization to assist with the debt purchase.
With the affiliation plan for Heritage Ministries and The Kenney moving ahead, Ontrac Management will step out of its interim role in December. Larry Foss is being named Executive Director of The Kenney. Mr. Foss joined The Kenney in the finance department and as the licensed nursing home administrator in June 2014. He has more than a decade of experience working in senior living communities as a chief financial officer, executive director and as a nursing home administrator. Mr. Foss is also the current Chair of LeadingAge Washington, which is the nonprofit trade association for senior living and healthcare organizations.
“It has been a privilege to support The Kenney as interim management during the last two years. Our role is now coming to an end. We see that the future is bright for The Kenney in its affiliation with Heritage Ministries,” said Moraine Byrne, President of Ontrac Management Services.
In an October news release, The Kenney said the 50 percent debt reduction would bring its debt down to $10.5 million. It pursued a $150 million redevelopment project between 2008 to 2011, in the end settling on smaller changes such as creation of a Memory Unit. We asked Byrne for a little more elaboration on what “affiliation” means; she replied, “The Kenney will continue to be a 501(c)3 charitable organization. Affiliation means that the corporate member in the bylaws is Heritage Ministries and that The Kenney will continue to be governed by a volunteer board of directors. Heritage Ministries will provide management oversight too.”
(Photo courtesy The Kenney)
Among the hundreds of people who joined in the Pacific Northwest Walk to End Alzheimer’s today were four residents of The Kenney (WSB sponsor), along with staffers and family members. They raised $1,600 and walked the full two-mile route along Lake Union. Proceeds from the walk – more than $270,000, in early estimates – go toward “the care, support, and research efforts of the Alzheimer’s Association,” according to the event website. The rise in cases of Alzheimer’s and dementia has led some retirement centers to make big changes; The Kenney added its Memory Care Community in 2012.
Thanks to Amy and Lisa for sharing the photo and report:
Gatewood Elementary third graders on Mrs. Griffin and Mr. Nowicki’s team had their poetry celebration today at The Kenney. Each student read their own original poetry on the microphone based on something they cared about. Then they gave their poems away as gifts to their Kenney friends.
We had a wonderful time making new friends and sharing our poetry.
The school and retirement center are neighbors – almost directly across Fauntleroy Way from each other.