History

Established in 1969 the Grimes-King Foundation for the Elderly, Inc. is the successor in interest to the Home for Aged Colored Women, founded in 1860 and incorporated in 1864, under Chapter 80 of the Acts of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts of that year.

The Home for Aged Colored Women (HACW) was founded in an era when governmental spending for basic social needs was non-existent. Until the early 1940s the organization maintained a residence as a home for poor elderly black women in Boston after their working careers had ended.

During the 1950s and 1960s, after HACW ceased to operate the residence, the Board of Trustees adopted the practice of contributing to a wide range of activities and programs to support low-cost housing and health care for elderly African Americans. Major initiatives included creation of The Commonwealth Housing Foundation and the pioneering Ada Hinton Homes in Roxbury, a model for private efforts to develop low-income housing for the elderly.

Beginning in the 1970s and through the present, a range of social service programs are supported through annual grants made possible from the income generated by endowment of the Foundation. For additional history, view information about the Foundation’s current and past directors, or view a booklet on The Home for Aged Colored Women.  The booklet provides background on one of Boston’s most historic foundations that has served the community for 160 years.  Our legacy comes from our Board members’ passing along the history to current generations of philanthropists.

Key Events

April 1860Home for Aged Colored Women established at 65 Southac Street.
March 1864Home for Aged Colored Women moved to 27 Myrtle Street where it stayed for 27 years
1872 to 1897Mrs. Thurston, Mrs. Stallard and Mrs. Rachel L. Smith served as first matrons
1891Home for Aged Colored Women moved to 22 Hancock Street in Boston’s Beacon Hill
November 1920Committee on the Future of the Home included Ada Hinton. Committee considered alternative of using outside aid. Ada Hinton’s vision born.
July 1944Having survived the Depression and uncertainty in the 1930s, the Home for Aged Colored Women located at 22 Hancock Street for 45 years was sold
1945-1949Regular Directors’ meetings held
April 1949Ada Hinton’s vision clarified following successful community service grants
April 27, 1951The Commonwealth Housing Foundation was established and funded by $250,000 of the Home for Aged Colored Women’s General and Reserve Funds.
Summer 196085 Dale Street was completed and named “The Ada Hinton Apartments”
1964The Directors issued a large grant to St. Monica’s Nursing Home and also supported a shift to program support at the Roxbury YMCA from the Robert Gould Shaw House.
November 1969The Grimes-King Foundation for the Elderly was formally established, after changes to the by-laws of the Home for Aged Colored Women.

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