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Founded in 1974, Friendship Village welcomed its first residents three years later on January 17, 1977. Our 60-acre campus featured residential living which is now known as Bridgegate and the first healthcare center building. As time passed, our not-for-profit retirement community continued to grow and expand neighborhoods and services we offered to area seniors.
In 1987, we became the first Continuing Care Retirement Community in Illinois to be accredited by the Continuing Care Accreditation Commission. That same year, the Board of Directors approved the development of an assisted living program — the first to be created in a Chicago-area Continuing Care Retirement Community. Expansion was on the horizon and in 1999 a new healthcare neighborhood was constructed to accommodate 60 additional residents. This increased capacity meant Friendship Village could extend its skilled nursing services to non-residents for the first time.
Continuing on our path of growth, strategic planning led to the opening of a new neighborhood of 28 garden homes called Crosswell Trace in 2004. The following summer, Friendship Village broke ground for a second new residential living neighborhood — Bridgewater Place.
In 2007, we celebrated our 30th anniversary with the opening of both Bridgewater Place and Friendship Center, a community gathering space consisting of meeting rooms and an auditorium, alongside our beautiful Heron Pond. The Bridgewater Place residential living neighborhood added 170 apartment homes to the community, along with a wealth of new amenities, including an aquatic and fitness center, salon and spa, bar and grill, community meeting spaces and much more.
In 2010, Friendship Senior Options entered a new decade headed by a new President and CEO, Stephen A. Yenchek. Steve was named to head both Friendship Senior Options and Friendship Village of Schaumburg, after serving 12 years as Chief Operating Officer and as Senior Vice President since 2004. Friendship Village has a strong reputation of dedicated, long-tenured leadership, as Steve is only the fifth President in Friendship Village’s more than 30-year history.
In 2013, Friendship Village received its fifth five-year accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) and is the only community in Illinois to do so. As an accredited community for more than 20 years, we consistently adhere to a comprehensive set of standards and requirements relating to governance, financial management, and healthcare practices to enhance the quality of services and programs for residents.
Over the years, our residents have received numerous community awards and recognition for active involvement and support in many local community-based organizations. In addition, members of our board have been repeatedly recognized in various forms for their outstanding contributions in their respective fields.