A Greek community’s commitment to its forebearers’ ideals
Since the first Greeks migrated to the United States of America, Greek Americans
have been dedicated to helping others, becoming active role models in their
communities, and having a strong desire to contribute to the betterment of
society while fulfilling the American Dream.
Hellenism, which are the cultural ideals of civic responsibility, humanitarianism,
and philanthropy, is a strong trait of Greek society.
The Order of AHEPA (American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association) is a
unique service-oriented fraternity that was founded in 1922. Its affiliate women’s
Order, the Daughters of Penelope, was founded in 1929. These two organizations
became one of the vehicle’s through which Greek Americans practiced their
ideals of expressing gratitude to their ancient and immigrant fathers as a way to
A group of Greek Americans who fulfilled the American Dream, and had the
desire to give back, were Leon Spanos and Dino Benos, along with Lou Jemas,
Ted Martin, Andy Millonas, Steve Milonas, and John Volas. This group from
St. Louis had the foresight to envision the construction of a 117-unit
building for low-income senior citizens in their community.
However, finding a piece of property and meeting government regulations was a
difficult and exhaustive challenge. Once the piece of land was identified,
economic obstacles to finance the project arose. Past Supreme President Sam
Nakis and Missouri Sen. Thomas Eagleton assisted in helping secure a grant
from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which
allowed the project to begin.
In 1980 through the group’s collective perseverance, the first AHEPA Apartments of
117 units was constructed. Today, St. Louis has four apartment buildings, totaling 256
units. The success of this dream allowed these friends the foresight to understand the
need for affordable housing for our growing senior population, and their actions, based
on the humanitarian ideals of their Hellenic ancestors made it possible.
AHEPA National Housing Corporation (ANHC) was later created, and since its
inception, AHEPA’s national housing initiative has blossomed into one of the
largest providers of affordable senior housing in the country. Thanks to an ethos-
based experience, knowledge, and an organization with a strong focus on
resident needs. In 1996, ANHC formed the Grants Program, which has donated
over $5 million to local charities across the country. One of a few notable
foundations over the years is The Chicago Lighthouse, which is a world
renowned social service organization that serves the blind, visually impaired, disabled
and veteran communities with comprehensive vision care support. Another
foundation, the Penelope House in Mobile, Alabama, provides
safety protection and support to domestic violence victims and their
children through the provision shelter, advocacy, and individual and community
In 1991, the AHEPA Management Company (AMC), a nonprofit organization, was
created to oversee and manage the growing portfolio of properties for ANHC. What
started in 1980 by the St. Louis Chapter has now grown to 91 low-income
elderly housing communities in a portfolio with 4,776 units between 39
AHEPA Chapters and 5 Daughters of Penelope Chapters.
Fast forward to 2018, and we find that ANHC and AMC started a new assisted
living venture for those seniors who need assistance with the activities of daily
living. Hellenic Senior Living Communities offer a wide variety of services and
amenities to help seniors live independently and offer the assistance they require.
Some of the services offered include ongoing healthcare & nursing assessments,
assistance with normal daily needs, medication reminders, daily meals,
housekeeping and transportation. They also offer beauty and barber shop services,
therapy rooms, programs and activities to help people live life with purpose and to
enhance socialization. Currently, there are four Hellenic communities in Indiana,
totaling 522 units.
AHEPA National Housing Corporation, together with AHEPA Management
Company and the Hellenic Senior Living communities, is inspired by a Hellenic spirit, and
will always be a role model in affordable housing for seniors.
EQUAL HOUSING OPPORTUNITY
We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the nation. We encourage and support an affirmative advertising and marketing program, in which there are no barriers to obtaining housing because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.