Resident from 1950s reconnects with Embrace Living

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We’ve always been committed to serving community needs, and have evolved to meet them. As the population ages and housing prices rise, we’re ensuring seniors and individuals with disabilities have affordable, welcoming spaces to call home. Back in the mid-1900s, when we were known as Bensenville Home, we also served as a refuge for children with unstable family circumstances.

Herb Kelly, 82, was one of our youth residents in the 1950s. His parents were battling health issues, so they were unable to care for him and his sister.

“I had a lot of brothers and sisters and grandmas and grandpas,” Kelly recalled of his seven years at the home from ages 5 through 12.

He played baseball in a big field behind the home and was encouraged to eat healthy foods by a staff member named Mrs. Young in exchange for marbles, his favorite toy.

Today, only one brick from the original Bensenville Home remains, but the land has stayed with our organization through its many iterations. And, our mission remains unchanged.

The property, now known as Castle Towers, continues to foster meaningful relationships between residents. If you walk into the community on any given day you’ll find residents having a ping pong tournament in our new fitness center, chatting over coffee in the garden, participating in art classes or interacting with our dedicated social service coordinators.

Bensenville Homes’s legacy lives on in our enduring commitment to ensuring vulnerable populations have a safe and welcoming home to live life to the fullest.

Kelly, who went on to become a teacher and artist, saw this when he reached out to us last year inquiring about what happened to the Bensenville Home.

He was so impressed by how the organization evolved to serve Chicagoland seniors and individuals with disabilities that he and his wife amended their trust to include Embrace Living Communities.

If you’re interested in adding Embrace Living Communities to your estate planning, please visit our Legacy Giving page, here.