CLEVELAND — A nursing home that calls itself the oldest continually-operating, African American-founded long-term care facility in the country is closing its long-term care building. 

What You Need To Know

  • Eliza Bryant Village is more than 100 years old and was founded by Eliza Bryant, a former slave who wanted to help older African-Americans

  • Cleveland Councilwoman Stephanie Howse said more than 70 people will have to find a new home

  • Eliza Bryant Village officials said they are working with the residents on finding a new home

“It was devastating. Absolutely devastating,” said Cleveland Councilwoman Stephanie Howse.  

Howse has a personal connection to Eliza Bryant Village. Her father was a resident there for 12 years.

“I could not imagine. I could not imagine,” she said. “And so, you know, it’s still taking the information in. At this moment, it’s seeing how we can work in partnership with the Eliza Bryant team staff.” 

Eliza Bryant Village said the board of trustees decided to close its long-term nursing care facility June 8.

“It’s been emotionally draining for staff who have to deliver that message and the residents and family members who are now having to scramble to make other arrangements. Now, we’re going to help them,” said Eliza Bryant Village President and CEO Danny Williams.  

Williams said the staff will help those living in the nursing home with finding a new home. He said Eliza Bryant Village will still provide forms of care such as:

  • Affordable senior housing
  • Home care
  • Senior outreach
  • Adult day services
  • Community transportation
  • Caregiver support groups 
  • Elder justice center

Williams said rising costs, falling admissions, COVID-19 funding issues and a majority population of residents on Medicaid as opposed to Medicare made funding the place difficult. 

“We lose more than $100 a day for each resident that’s Medicaid funded,” said Williams. “And 95% of our residents are covered by Medicaid.”  

According to Eliza Bryant Village, the more than 100-year-old nursing home was founded by Eliza Bryant, a former slave from North Carolina, who noticed there were no facilities in Cleveland to care for older African Americans. 

Now, with the future uncertain, leaders are hoping to help residents find the right place while continuing to carry on its legacy. 

“It’s not just about taking care of their physical needs, it’s also putting them in place where they’re going to fit in emotionally, the cultural background is compatible with what our residents are hoping for,” said Williams.  

Williams said he’s planning on working with the city, county and state about funding options.