The Mustard Seed Project of Key Peninsula is celebrating its 10th anniversary serving local seniors this year and has marked the event with a big step forward for the organization.
Dedicated to serving the elders of the Key Peninsula community, the nonprofit has purchased the former Roadhouse Restaurant and 5 adjoining acres in Key Center, at 9016 154th Avenue, Lakebay. The building and property will be used to expand existing programs offered by the organization and will also be the future home of the first senior housing on the Key Peninsula, according to executive director Edie Morgan.
“We have many challenges ahead just figuring it all out,” Morgan said. “But you have to start somewhere.”
The approximately 5,000-square-foot building came “as-is” and features a commercial kitchen, café area, basement, office areas for staff and an activity room. A large deck provides further space and a view over Key Center.
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The whole idea is to have a vibrant gathering place for anybody. A café space was always part of our plan.
Edie Morgan, executive director of The Mustard Seed Project
“The whole idea is to have a vibrant gathering place for anybody,” Morgan said. “A café space was always part of our plan.”
The Mustard Seed Project was founded by Morgan in 2006 to provide resources and support for the elders in the Key Peninsula Community, allowing them to remain in their homes and communities. In 2015, the organization served 802 individuals with more than 4,500 instances of service, offering regular “core” programs, which include:
▪ Resources from its Key Senior Resources Center that provides information on issues including legal, financial, insurance and veterans benefits
▪ The Key Peninsula Senior Ride Program in partnership with Catholic Community Services and Pierce Transit, which provides seniors rides to essential destinations
▪ A Community Volunteer Network that assists elders with chores and maintenance
▪ Third Thursday Community Forums, free semi-monthly educational presentations on issues ranging from end-of-life planning to Social Security
“We’ve just been doing everything we can for this community,” Morgan said. “There’s been so many people involved in the Mustard Seed Project.”
A goal of the Mustard Seed Project has been to allow seniors to age in place, remaining in their communities and independent for as long as possible. Looking toward this goal, the organization’s plans for senior housing on its new campus focuses on maintaining community and a home-like feel for residents, following a “Home for Life” setting that follows the model set by The Green House Project.
We’ve just been doing everything we can for this community. There’s been so many people involved in the Mustard Seed Project.
The model focuses on establishing home settings for seniors, with private bedrooms and bathrooms and shared communal spaces, so that residents live together and form a community.
“We don’t want our seniors living in isolation,” Morgan said. “There’s so much out there in the world that we can bring to this location.”
The Mustard Seed Project plans to build three assisted living “cottages” at the location, each housing ten elders and providing 24-hour assistance while maintaining the atmosphere and respect of a private home. To further promote a sense of community, Morgan is looking toward ways to include community events and activities at the location, with the café providing a convenient meeting spot and the larger gathering room a place for meetings and other events.
“All along, the whole idea was to build (our campus) in (Key Center) so we’d be a part of the village life,” Morgan said. “This is going to be a very good place. A lot of life will be evident here, and enhanced.”
We don’t want our seniors living in isolation. There’s so much out there in the world that we can bring to this location.
The nonprofit was able to purchase the former restaurant building and adjacent 5 acres with a loan through Capital Impact Partners, a nonprofit/mission-driven lender lender out of Arlington, Virginia. The sellers agreed to combine the cost of the two properties, and it was purchased for $925,000, with the organization required to provide 20 percent of the total cost.
The total project costs for the campus are estimated at $7.5 million.
“This has been very intense for awhile,” Morgan said. “Now we’re settling in.”
Getting the café up and running and moving the offices for the organization into the building are the first steps in making the place the nonprofit’s own, along with kicking off a $2.5 million capital campaign toward the project with the help of The Ostara Group, with a project timeline under development.
In moving the project forward, the Mustard Seed Project has partnered with several other organizations including Concepts in Community Living for management of the project and to later manage the operation of the assisted living homes, The Nielson Group to provide financial and project management services for the project and the architectural firm Rice Fergus Miller from Bremerton as project architects.
“The future is going to be shaped by everyone who participates in this,” Morgan said. “It takes the whole community to make this happen.”
The Mustard Seed Project
For updates on the organization and the development of the new property, visit facebook.com/TheMustardSeedProject/?fref=ts.
The organization can be contacted at 253-884-9814 or by emailing Morgan at email@example.com. Offices for the organization are located at 9013 KP Highway N., Suite D, on the Key Peninsula.