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Juliette Fowler Communities announces plans for 130th anniversary celebration

Written by Mindia Whittier

Planned activities include the grand opening of a new affordable housing development and increased impact in dementia care.

Juliette Fowler Communities (JFC), an intergenerational community of residents at various life-stages, recently kicked-off activities to commemorate its 130th anniversary.

The fourth oldest nonprofit in Dallas, JFC is located on 20 acres in the eastern portion of the city. Over 70 of the organization’s board members, residents, volunteers, and supporters gathered at the University Park home of Katie and Bret Pedigo for a milestone birthday on its behalf at the end of September.

JFC’s One Heart Society, a membership group that supports the nonprofit’s mission through volunteerism, community awareness and fundraising, organized the event. The One Heart Fund provides $1.1 million in benevolent care and services supporting both older adults and youth programs.

“Juliette Fowler Communities has an exciting fall planned in our 130 th year with a monumental grand opening happening on our campus in November,” said Nicole Gann, president and CEO, JFC. “The Peak, a $24 million, 144-unit, affordable housing development with supportive services for the ‘forgotten-middle’ seniors – those who are unable to pay market rate for apartments and do not qualify for low-income housing – will address a looming national crisis for this population, expected to double on a national level by 2029. In a city like Dallas, pricing for housing and rent have been escalating and gentrification is forcing seniors who have lived in areas for 40 or 50 years to move. We know that seniors want to stay in their communities, and we have had 400 interested applicants for our 144 units and have already pre-leased two of the available income levels.”

The development will be the largest building on JFC’s campus and the first of its kind living community in the Dallas area.

JFC team members are planning an invitation-only grand opening event in November to thank friends and supporters of JFC and The Peak. It will include tours and a picnic basket lunch to represent the tradition of such gatherings and special occasions that date to the early days of the organization, including the opening of Fowler’s first building in 1892.

Anniversary year celebrations also include a “Get on the Bus and Give” campaign that seeks to raise a $50,000 matching gift to provide a new 14-passenger bus needed to meet the transportation for JFC’s residents.

“Our residents depend on us for transportation to doctors’ appointments as well as for grocery store runs and other occasions,” said Gann.

An additional focus area for the organization’s 130th year is continued work in the area of dementia care.

“We know that approximately 5.5 million are living in the United States with cognitive impairment, and JFC is helping to foster Dementia Friendly Dallas, a movement for a more compassionate city,” said Gann. “We are stepping into a more engaged community for individuals living with dementia and those who care for them. We are expanding what we do and looking at strategic partnerships that can make an impact for the greater community.”

JFC has also started a new benevolent fund called Friends Helping Friends. The grassroots effort is subsidizing $70,000 in food needs annually.

JFC’s original mission of caring for widows and orphans has been adapted to a modern-day version of caring for seniors through all levels of care as well as children and youth. The agency supports children through foster and adoption services, youth working to escape or avoid human trafficking or exploitation, and young women at risk for homelessness due to neglect, abuse, or aging out of the foster care system.

The organization provides independent and assisted living, a Five-Star Quality Rated skilled nursing and rehabilitation center, memory care and affordable senior housing. As the only certified I’m Still Here® Center for Excellence in Dementia Care in Dallas and one of only three in Texas, JFC’s program employs evidence-based techniques to adapt experiences to an individual’s cognitive abilities and strengths.

JFC has been named a Great Place to Work in the Aging Services Industry each year since 2018.

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About the author

Mindia Whittier