The Greek Community’s Commitment to Its Forebears
Since the time of their formal organization in the United States, Greek Americans have been dedicated to helping others and to becoming an active part of their communities, striving to contribute to the betterment of society and the fulfillment of the American Dream.
Ancient Greek, or Hellenic, ideals, such as philanthropy, civic responsibility, and humanitarianism, comprise the foundation for the Greek American community’s ethos.
The American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (Order of AHEPA), a unique fraternal service organization established in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1922, and its affiliate women’s Order, the Daughters of Penelope, established in 1929, became the vehicles through which Greek Americans practiced their Hellenic ideals as a way of expressing gratitude to their ancient and immigrant forebears and to their new adopted homeland. Through AHEPA and the Daughters of Penelope, which place emphasis on community service and volunteerism, Greek Americans have given back, contributing to the strengthening of society.
AHEPA National Housing is Born
One such group of Greek Americans who fulfilled the American Dream and who had a desire to give back hailed from Saint Louis, Missouri. They had the foresight to identify and understand the need for affordable housing for America’s older adults and the vision to implement it through the AHEPA National Housing Corporation (ANHC), a 501(c)3 nonprofit founded in 1980. In 1981, their vision became a reality with the dedication of the first ANHC multifamily housing property in St. Louis. The project was made possible with grant funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Through its sponsorship and assistance to local AHEPA chapters, AHEPA’s National Housing program has blossomed as a provider of safe and dignified affordable housing administered by the HUD Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly program. With this growth, came the need to provide expert management services.
In 1991, the AHEPA National Housing Corporation established AHEPA Management Company (AMC) to oversee and manage its nationwide affordable housing portfolio and develop future projects.
True to its community’s roots, in 1996, ANHC formed a foundation and established a Grants Program that has donated more than $6.4 million to nonprofits across the country. Charitable causes supported include The Chicago Lighthouse, a worldwide social services organization that serves the blind, visually impaired, disabled, and veteran communities with comprehensive vision care support; Penelope House, a provider of services to survivors of domestic violence and their children in Mobile, Alabama; and the sponsorship of service dogs to help veterans with PTSD.
Affordable Assisted Living: Our Growth Continues
Our subsidiary, Hellenic Senior Living, is the next stage of developing and managing high-quality, dignified affordable residential communities that are resident-driven for older adults who require assistance with activities of daily living. We own and maintain four Hellenic Senior Living communities in Indiana.
Today, ANHC and AMC have become AHEPA Senior Living (ASL) – a nearly 500-employee nonprofit company still inspired by a Hellenic spirit and ethos that is helping approximately 5,000 older adults in 91 ASL communities nationwide live vibrant and full lives in beautiful and safe surroundings.
Perhaps this is why our residents often say, “I feel like I’m at home,” and “I feel like I have family here.”