The ELIZA BRYANT VILLAGE (incorporated on September 1, 1896) opened on August 11 1897 as the Cleveland Home for Aged Colored People and was the first nonreligious institution sponsored by African Americans in Cleveland. ELIZA BRYANT, born into slavery in North Carolina but a free resident of Cleveland after 1858, began efforts to establish a home for elderly black women in the city in 1893, aided by Sarah Green and LETHIA FLEMING. The first residents were admitted into the $2,000 home (which had no gas, furnace, or bath) at 284 Giddings (East 71st) Street. In 1901 the trustees purchased better facilities at 186 Osborne (2520 East 39th) Street, occupied in May 1902. The home moved again in March 1914 to a house at 4807 Cedar Road, purchased for $9,000, its location for fifty-three years. By 1957 the Home for Aged Colored People accepted both men and women but was rarely filled to its capacity of sixteen residents.
Assisted by the Welfare Federation, it reorganized and was renamed the Eliza Bryant Home for the Aged in April 1960. On September 5, 1967, the home leased and moved into the former DORCAS HOME. The new facility more than doubled the home's capacity; its forty-three residents included both African-American and white individuals. In 1968 the Dorcas Society donated its property to the Bryant Home, and the heavily endowed A. M. MCGREGOR HOME (which did not admit AFRICAN AMERICANS) gave the Bryant Home $1.5 million. Renamed the Eliza Bryant Center, the home announced an ambitious expansion in April 1984. With a $1.1 million gift from the defunct FOREST CITY HOSPITAL and other donations and grants, the center developed the Eliza Bryant Senior Center at 7201 Wade Park for 100 residents. Since 1989 the center has sponsored an adult day care program in cooperation with the EVA L. AND JOSEPH M. BRUENING FOUNDATION and the WESTERN RESERVE AREA AGENCY ON AGING, and expanded its senior transportation services. Following the completion of a $7.1 million expansion in 1999, which included the construction of a senior outreach center and an independent housing complex, the venerable community organization was renamed the Eliza Bryant Village.
Committed to culturally-sensitive care, the Eliza Bryant Village provided a comprehensive array of services to more than 1,000 seniors in HOUGH,GLENVILLE, FAIRFAX, and Central neighborhoods, including adult day care, transportation, community outreach, independent living, and skilled nursing care. Among the constituent parts of the Eliza Bryant Village were a 175-bed skilled nursing facility with specialized care units, including the Eva L. and Joseph M. Bruening Alzheimer's Unit, a 75-unit wing specializing in care of Alzheimer's patients; the Inez Myers Senior Outreach Center, housing adult day care, nutrition, primary health, and transportation programs; and more than 140 residential units for independent senior living in Eliza Bryant Manor and Garden Estates. In 2008, the Village added a 45-unit facility for independent senior living, the Amasa B. Ford Lodge, which was designed by ROBERT P. MADISON INTERNATIONAL and built with a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
In 2009, Harvey Shankman served as the executive director of the Eliza Bryant Village and Brenda York as the president of the board of trustees. In addition to a thirty-nine member Board of Trustees, Eliza Bryant had three women's auxiliaries comprised of eighty members who assisted in fundraising and resident activities. In 2006, the Eliza Bryant Village was honored by AOPHA, the Advocate of Not-For-Profit Services For Older Ohioans, with the Excellence in Service (Best Practice) for Home- and Community-based Services Award.
Federation for Community Planning Records, WRHS
Eliza Bryant Home Records, WRHS