Building Upon a Promise... A Legacy of Care.

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The History of Heritage Community of Kalamazoo

In 1944, when Mayor Louis Sutherland gathered together local residents to improve Kalamazoo’s system for senior care, members of the community felt a deep conviction that compassionate support and comfortable living should be available for all seniors. With his own aging mother in need of skilled care, Sutherland worked with Dr. Richard U. Light, Mr. Gifford “Love” B. Upjohn and other community members to invest in secure, leisurely living for all seniors, regardless of their ability to pay.

Heritage Community of Kalamazoo has been raising funds to help improve the living conditions of seniors since the organization was founded in 1945. Back then, the foundation was known as the Senior Citizens Fund. While our name has changed, our commitment to providing care for people of all incomes has remained constant.

The Michigan Department of Social Welfare, the Upjohn Company, First National Bank and Trust, the Kalamazoo Community Foundation and the Sutherland Paper Company all offered their support. The result of the community’s combined efforts was, and is, Heritage Community of Kalamazoo.