In 1976, Bishop Andrew McDonald (Catholic), Bishop Kris Keller (Episcopalian), and Bishop Frank (Methodist) formed the ecumenical venture, “Good Shepherd Retirement Center”. They acquired land owned by the Global Women’s Ministry of the United Methodist Church, which was a 40 acre tract in the western part of the city beyond Baptist Medical Center. The land was to be used by Good Shepherd to develop a retirement center.
The Good Shepherd Board was successful in working with the Deparment of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in receiving a 40 year loan to develop a seven story, 200 apartment unit complex for the poor elderly of the Little Rock area. In addition to the loan, funds were pledged by the Catholic Diocese (approximately $150,000 from the Miles Trust), as well as the Methodist and Episcopalian faiths. Through this concerted effort, the complex was able to open in April of 1979.
After the success by Good Shepherd, the board of directors of Christopher Homes made an application through HUD for a 62 unit complex in West Helena in 1983. HUD funding was received and the complex opened in 1984.
Some funds from the Miles Trust, in the form of seed money, were also used for this project and all the ones that followed. Between 1984 and 1998, Christopher Homes added eighteen other apartment complexes for Senior housing in the cities of Searcy, El Dorado, Forrest City, Marianna, Brinkley, Camden, Elaine, Clarendon, Augusta, Paragould, Parkin, Wynne, Monette, Palestine, Strong, North Little Rock, Hot Springs, and Jonesboro.
In November 1998, Christopher Homes was asked to assume ownership of the DeQueen and Horatio apartment complexes. The apartments were owned by another nonprofit group who had no success in operating the complexes and had allowed them to get into very poor physical, as well as financial trouble. After invitation by them and suggestion and approval by HUD, Christopher Homes assumed ownership. HUD granted funds to completely remodel the complexes.
In April of 2000, Christopher Homes assumed management of another complex that had been started by another nonprofit organization. After that group had been unsuccessful with the Carrick House of Devalls Bluff, HUD pointed them to Christopher Homes. Once the complex was acquired, the name was changed to Christopher Homes of Devalls Bluff.
The Cottages at Delta Acres approached Christopher Homes in 2010 and asked them to take over the ownership. After years of experience handling properties for the elderly, Christopher Homes was able and willing to assume another 19 unit property located in Clarendon. The property retained the name of The Cottages at Delta Acres.
The newest addition to the Christopher Homes family was built by the organization with a grant funded by HUD. Christopher Homes was awarded the monies in 2009 and the property opened in June, 2012. It is a 20 unit complex located on Lanehart Road in Little Rock.
Over the years renovations have been done to several complexes to make room for our Service Coordinator Program. This program is a supportive service funded through the HUD funds. Initially it began with grant funding in 2006. Christopher Homes received two of the three grants received in Arkansas. Today, Christopher Homes employs eight Service Coordinators shared among 17 properties, giving 449 of our total 588 residents access to a Service Coordinator.
Christopher Homes currently manages and owns 24 properties in Arkansas. Seventeen are for elderly or disabled and seven are solely for the elderly age 62 and older.