Since the early 1960ís SAGE had operated out of an antiquated Victorian house on DeForest Avenue in Summit, New Jersey, suitable at the time to house SAGEís administrative offices, HomeCare and Meals-on Wheels departments. Due to the growth of our programs and the needs of the population, the building was no longer appropriate for current operations. It was badly in need of repair from top to bottom, inside and out. In fact, it is miraculous how much was generated from these cramped quarters
Since SAGE had outlived these facilities, the agency and the viability of its programs could not be limited by its present boundaries. It was imperative for SAGE to secure a larger space, which would allow it to grow existing programs and implement new services to strengthen our mission.
Late in 2001 a $7 million capital campaign was launched to fund the purchase of a site and to create a new structure. Intentions were to raise $1 million for our endowment and $6 million to finance the new headquarters.
In July of 2003 we purchased the former Superior Oldsmobile dealership on Broad Street in Summit. The new building was completed early in 2005 and the doors opened on February 14, 2005.
Through our enlarged endowment, we can now offer additional services that are needed to keep the homebound elderly in their homes. As we identify additional needs for the community, the endowment gives us the seed money to get the programs off the ground until they are self-sustaining through grant money or revenue. From our new location SAGE will introduce a Bill Paying Service where volunteers help clients to reconcile their checkbooks, pay bills and submit insurance claims, and a Chore Service where volunteers help clients with simple tasks such as changing light bulbs, repairing leaky faucets and installing ramps in bathrooms.
This was the most ambitious undertaking in the history of SAGE. Its success was predicated on the endorsement and support of the community SAGE serves. It was only through our successful partnership between the community, and the board and staff that SAGE is able to continue to expand and enhance its services and remain the premier eldercare agency in New Jersey.