Remember the children’s story about the Little Engine that Could? That story could be the
theme for The Mustard Seed Project.
Mustard Seed is a Green House eldercare community 15 years in the making. Located in the Key Peninsula on Puget Sound in Washington state, the long-anticipated project finally broke ground in November. The effort is a terrific example of quiet grassroots tenacity and dedication to offer residents the opportunity to remain in their beloved community as they age and require care.
The Green House Project is just giddy with excitement over Mustard Seed’s progress and triumph. It really is the whole package. Even its name conjures up a noble image of growth and
determination that can inspire and motivate advocates and leaders to transform eldercare. The biblical parable of the mustard seed states that the seeds start out small but grow to be huge, sheltering bushes. What a magnificent metaphor in these divisive times.
Indeed, the Mustard Seed story is the heartwarming stuff of TV movies. A small, rural community with an aging population sees the need for a warm and caring place for local elders
to live that is close to family and friends. Edie Morgan, a local resident, takes on the mantle of leading such an effort. With a mostly volunteer staff, she sets out to implement her vision step by step. They
patiently learn to navigate a complicated and ever-changing fundraising process, secure state
and municipal grants, raise private donations, and solicit foundation funding. Land is
purchased, plans are drawn up and building begins. But the story doesn’t end there. When completed in late 2022, The Mustard Seed Project will serve 30 elders in three interconnected homes. Two of the homes will be assisted living; the third home will provide memory care. It will also be the first elder community of any kind on the peninsula.
The Mustard Seed Project will offer s transportation and a variety of other services to elders. Once built, there are ambitious second-phase plans including building an outdoor performance space, walking paths, a playground for children to share with their grandparents and other relatives, and a community center.
Mustard Seed won’t just support elders: 28 new jobs will be created when the community opens next year. Additionally, the project is committed to making the home affordable for residents. The goal is to have 30 percent of residents covered under Medicaid. It’s a win-win for everyone in the community.
The strength and commitment of that community made this come into being, says Mustard Seed Director of Development Marion Sharp. It’s a testament to what can be achieved whenworking together toward a common goal.
Just like The Little Engine that Could, Mustard Seed kept on saying, “We think we can, we think we can.” And they did.