Catholic Social Services (CSS) of the Upper Peninsula announced today that it has signed an agreement to acquire KeenAgers home in Wakefield, Michigan. KeenAgers was established on the site of the Divine Infant Hospital in 1979 by the late Reverend Wilbert Staudenmaier, a Catholic priest of the Diocese of Green Bay. Father Staudenmaier wanted to offer low-cost services to those needing licensed assisted living or independent living options.
James Staudenmaier, nephew of the late priest and president of the KeenAgers Board of Directors, said the board is pleased and gratified that CSS will be continuing the vision and ministry that Father Staudenmaier began. “For nearly 33 years, KeenAgers has provided adult foster care, assisted living and independent living for hundreds of residents, as well as employment opportunities to the community at large. Through the dedication of the staff, the residents have enjoyed a safe, secure home,” Staudenmaier stated.
“KeenAgers has established a reputation of providing for a diverse population. Many former U.P. residents have returned and taken up residency. KeenAgers has always felt blessed and measured its success on the small town values and work ethic of the Wakefield community and surrounding area. We have no doubt that the facility will continue to fill a needed resource and flourish under Catholic Social Services.”
The facility is currently home to 33 residents, including persons with developmental disabilities, those needing assisted living, and low-cost independent living for seniors.
Deacon Dan Powers, Executive Director of Catholic Social Services, was impressed when he visited KeenAgers, which is licensed for 20 beds on the third floor for adult foster care/assisted living and 22 beds on the first two floors for independent living and respite care. “The home is very clean, and the residents are given loving care. We are blessed to have this home in our diocese and blessed to be continuing this wonderful ministry.” He said that the first task would be to let everyone know about the home and recruit volunteers and new families.
Mike Angeli, president of the CSS Board of Directors, is pleased with the new ministry. “Catholic Social Services is in its 60th year of service to the Upper Peninsula and this new ministry will make this year extra special. We are thrilled to be back in the western U.P. and thrilled to be serving these folks who need our help,” Angeli said.
Bishop Alexander K. Sample was equally excited that CSS will resume its ministry in the western part of the Diocese of Marquette. “Many people have asked me to bring Catholic Social Services back to this area. I am pleased that we will serve in such a much-needed capacity. We hope that this will be a new beginning for CSS and its service to the poor and poor in spirit,” Bishop Sample said.
Catholic Social Services of the Upper Peninsula is a non-profit agency whose mission is to nurture and stabilize families in the Upper Peninsula. Services offered include adoption and foster care licensing and placement, outpatient mental health and substance abuse treatment, and pornography addiction services.