United Methodist Communities at Covenant Place Celebrates 20th Anniversary

UMC at Covenant Place staff
On behalf of all Covenant Place associates, Tamika Green, administrative assistant; Desmond Q. Green, maintenance associate; and Tammie Forbes, social service coordinator, present a bouquet of roses to India Santos, housing administrator.

Over 27 years ago, Rev. Dr. Charles W. Miller, Jr., a known advocate for social justice and the marginalized, took his daily walk around the property at the then First United Methodist Church of Plainfield. With the particular issue of affordable housing for older adults on his mind, the pastor experienced a vision while gazing at a large plot of vacant land next to the church and parsonage —a senior housing complex.

Well acquainted with the high cost of living and scarcity of safe, affordable apartment homes for seniors, especially in New Jersey, he was determined to persevere despite the obstacles. After exploring and exhausting many options, the church entered into a partnership with United Methodist Communities (UMC) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on the planned senior housing. Construction began in 1997 and in March 1999, the first residents moved into Covenant Place, bringing Dr. Miller’s vision to fruition.

This month 61 Covenant Place residents, UMC associates, and guests celebrated their 20th anniversary in the Charles Miller Community Room. Housing Administrator, India Santos, welcomed and thanked guests and recognized her onsite team for their role in the day-to-day operations.

The program also included remarks from Cindy Jacques, vice president of housing and community initiatives and Lawrence D. Carlson, president and CEO of United Methodist Communities; lunch prepared by Leon’s Catering; and giveaways.

Remarkably, despite 20 years’ passing, seven of the original residents still call Covenant Place home. Jeanette Edghill, corporate manager of housing, acknowledged Mamie Johnson, Seth Jones, Anne Douglas, Clara Harris, Roxie Cummings, Ira Jeter, and Emma Carter.

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Emma Carter is not only one of the original Covenant Place residents, but also celebrates her 100th birthday this month 2019.

In honor of Emma Carter’s upcoming 100th birthday, resident Eva Scott presented and read a birthday card from the Covenant community citing Carter as a special person with a kind heart and a sweet personality.

Dean Livingston, chair of Covenant Housing Corporation stated, “Seeing our Covenant Place associates in action with the residents epitomizes UMC’s core values of compassion, respect, stewardship, and service. I could not be more proud of the past 20 years serving older adults and look forward to many more joyful celebrations.”

During the event, numerous residents shared how grateful they feel to live in a safe, affordable, and caring community. Reflecting the level of resident involvement, participation, and social connections, Rose Daye and Eva Scott decorated the Community Room in festive gold, silver, and black décor.

For additional information about United Methodist Communities at Covenant Place, visit UMCommunities.org/CovenantPlace or call 908-791-9430.