Friendship Manor, a retirement complex for the elderly and disabled that was started in Salt Lake City in 1967 by four church organizations, has been honored by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
A model for the industry, located at 1320 E. 500 South, the development has also won local and national recognition for its facilities. This month its managers, Ken and Linda Murphy, were awarded the HUD Managers of the Year Award for 1990 for their administrative efforts in behalf of more than 200 residents of the apartment complex.The Murphys' award represents the highest honor that HUD's Region VIII, which includes Utah, Colorado, Montana, Wyoming and North and South Dakota, can give to the several hundred managers of HUD-administered housing facilities.
The success of Friendship Manor in answering a need in the community is also reflected in the high rate of occupancy the housing complex ordinarily has - 95 percent at the moment, with a waiting list for one- and two-bedroom units.
The complex is the only HUD-administered housing facility in Salt Lake that provides its residents regular meals. Those who live at Friendship Manor usually eat at least one meal a day in the dining room, and many eat two or three meals a day at the facility.
Linda Murphy said the 14-story apartment complex was built by the First Congregational Church, Congregation Kol Ami, the First Unitarian Church and the United Church of Christ.
"Members of each of the four churches, totaling 16, sit on our board of directors," she said. "They meet at least monthly and volunteer their time to visit Friendship Manor regularly to see how it operates."
She said Friendship Manor was established by the four church organizations "to provide for elderly families and elderly persons - on a non-profit and charitable basis - rental housing and related facilities and services."
"These services are especially designed to meet the charitable, physical, social and psychological needs of the aged and contribute to their health, security, happiness and usefulness in longer living."
Friendship Manor has 228 units, including 207 with kitchen facilities. HUD subsidizes 43 percent of the units in some way.
Among the apartments are 111 smaller units, 48 one-bedroom units, 15 two-bedroom apartments and 26 suites. Like a small city, Friendship Manor has a doctor's office, a podiatrist, a masseur, store, beauty parlor, library, pool room and clothes washing facilities.
Recreational activities and entertainment are provided daily: Tours and bus trips are available, a movie is shown each Friday night on a large screen television set in the building's recreation room, and volunteers, from children to senior citizens, come to Friendship Manor practically every day to visit with residents there.
"Our residents average about 83 years of age," Linda Murphy said. "Ordinarily, we accept people who are 62 years of age or older and who are able to care for themselves. We do have younger residents, however, who are legally handicapped or disabled.
"Most of our residents are single, widowers or widows, but we do have six couples living here. As our name implies, we encourage our residents to learn to know about each other and to become friends, and a host of friendships have been engendered here among the residents."
Friendship Manor has 37 full- and part-time employees, including a certified recreation therapist. A dietitian plans the meals at the facility.
While the Murphys get plenty of communication from each of the residents of Friendship Manor - about everything from food to the temperature of the housing units - they are also overseen by the board members from the four religious groups, strictly monitored by HUD and also overseen by Tamarack Property Management Co., of Billings, Mont., the company that hired the Murphys to run Friendship Manor.
Ken Murphy said he and his wife live in the manor, "so we are close to everything that happens here. Friendship Manor, for us, is more than just a job. It is practically a life's work and we love it," he said.
Mary Louise Wetzel, Bountiful, a member of the United Church of Christ in Bountiful and chairman of the board of Friendship Manor, said the four church organizations "are extremely proud of Friendship Manor and of the Murphys.
"Friendship Manor was the first facility of its kind ever to be built in Salt Lake City. There are few facilities like it in the United States," she said.