B'nai B'rith participating in housing for elderly Jewish group to expand services in partnership for Pikesville center

January 23, 1996|By Lisa Respers | Lisa Respers,SUN STAFF

B'nai B'rith, a Jewish service organization that historically has worked on low-income housing ventures, is expanding into other types of housing by forming a pilot partnership with a company building an assisted-living project in Pikesville.

The limited partnership is a first-time project for the nonprofit organization, which will provide cultural, religious and social assistance for residents of the Sunrise Assisted Living building under construction on 3 acres in the 3800 block of Old Court Road.

The 79-unit, three-story building is scheduled to open in May.

Mark D. Olshan, Washington-based director of B'nai B'rith's senior citizen housing division, said the organization operates 30 low-income housing developments for the elderly across the country, many of them independent living facilities offering limited support services.

The group has been exploring ways to become involved in housing for seniors with a wide range of incomes through assisted-living facilities, Mr. Olshan said

"We recognized that there was a niche missing between independent living and nursing homes that could be filled with assisted living," Mr. Olshan said. "This project with Sunrise gave us the opportunity to get involved more quickly in that field and gave us a lot of flexibility."

Mr. Olshan said B'nai B'rith was especially interested in the Pikesville project because of the large Jewish population there.

"The facility, like much of the housing B'nai B'rith provides, will be open to everyone. But we are aware of the strong Jewish presence there," Mr. Olshan said. "Our people will be there to assist Sunrise in all of the social aspects."

Sunrise Assisted Living, one of the largest providers of assisted living in the nation, is working jointly on the project with Constellation Health Services, a subsidiary of Baltimore Gas and jTC Electric Co., said Sunrise spokeswoman Deena Neste. Sunrise owns and is developing the Pikesville site, but has managed other facilities for nonprofit groups, Ms. Neste said.

Ms. Neste said the Pikesville center will offer one- and two-bedroom suites ranging from $60 to $120 a day, depending on unit size and types of services a resident requires.

She said the company hopes its relationship with B'nai B'rith would grow.

"Our residents are part of a bigger community," Ms. Neste said. "Nurturing the spirit is very important for older residents and we want to help to provide that for them."

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