It is with a very heavy heart that the Board of Directors of Benincasa announces the closure of the two-bed comfort care home located in the hamlet of Mendon.
Benincasa was founded in 1996 as a volunteer-driven organization that provided compassionate end of life care at no cost to residents or their loved ones. For 26 years, Benincasa operated with a small paid staff, a large team of volunteers and with no guaranteed source of income. 100% of the funds needed to operate were raised through donations, memorial contributions and fund raising. In the years that have elapsed since opening, Benincasa welcomed over 475 residents and their families to the home.
Unfortunately, the events of the past few years, driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, have adversely impacted the ability to hire needed professional heath care staff, retain sufficient volunteers, maintain support from the local health care systems and sustain donations. After thoughtful assessment and deliberation, the Board of Directors has concluded that the ability to re-establish the nurturing care environment that has worked so well for 26 years, while remaining financially viable for the long term, is no longer possible.
While this very difficult decision and the closing of the physical doors at the home concludes a wonderful chapter in the life of Benincasa, the Board is in process of repositioning the assets of the organization and is working with Nazareth College to create the next chapter. The work of Benincasa, meaning “good home”, will carry forward in the form of the Benincasa Endowed Scholarship at Nazareth College which will provide financial support to students with career aspirations focused on service to the aging. By utilizing the resources of “today’s” Benincasa in this manner, officials believe the mission of the organization and the spirit of the service to the community provided over the past 26 years will live on “tomorrow” and in perpetuity.
The Board thanks the many staff, volunteers and the Mendon congregations for the support provided over the past 26 years. Benincasa has been truly blessed by those who have willingly given of themselves in service to others and by the generous gifts and supportive involvement from those who believed in this mission. While the Board of Directors are sad to close this chapter, they look forward to the enduring service “Benincasa” will provide to the community in the future.