Christian Church Homes

CCH Announces New President and CEO

Dear Friends,

In January 2019, I informed the CCH Board of Directors of my pending retirement after 13 years of service as CCH CEO and President. The Board immediately put in place a well-planned and thorough process to identify and secure a highly qualified, competent and equally dedicated person to lead the organization through its next phase of growth. They engaged a highly respected search firm to conduct a national search for the best possible candidate to fill this vital role. The search firm and search committee jointly identified more than 100 possible candidates and gradually narrowed the field to the top four candidates for careful vetting, interviewing and examination.

The results of this thoughtfully laid out process have led us right back home to where we began. After reviewing many qualified resumes, we have come to the conclusion that the best candidate is one of our very own people.  The Board is excited to announce that Mr. Syd Najeeb has been promoted and hired to take on the vital role of CEO and President of CCH.

Mr. Najeeb has been working side by side with me for the last five years where he has served in the dual role of CFO and COO.  In this capacity, he has become fully aware of all aspects of operations and development at CCH and is prepared to quickly and seamlessly step in as CEO and President. Well-versed in low income housing tax credits (LIHTC) compliance and financing, he is also a Certified Tax Credit Specialist and Certified Occupancy Specialist. Furthermore, he brings to the mission of CCH many years of experience in affordable housing development and operations both at CCH as well as other nonprofit firms in Northern California.  In addition, his background includes a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Master of Arts in Economics, and Master’s Degree in Business Administration.  In CCH’s 58-year history, Mr. Najeeb will the 5th president.

CCH Board Chair Carroll Cotten said, “We very much appreciate the many years of exceptional leadership Don has provided at CCH over the course of 40 years.  As a result of his admirable dedication and business acumen, CCH has the solid foundation enabling the organization to continue flourishing and expanding its mission into eight states across the country. We are genuinely excited that Mr. Syd Najeeb will continue this vital work and successfully execute a new strategy for growth in the coming years.”

Mr. Najeeb will work closely with me during a 60-day transition period and will take over full responsibility as CEO and President starting January 1, 2020.  Please join me, our CCH Board Chair and Search Committee Chair in celebrating this change in leadership. Our commitment to providing affordable quality housing in caring communities will continue as we work to provide excellent customer service for our residents, Board members and partners.

All the Best,

Don Stump

CCH President/CEO

CCH CEO Don Stump Receives Lifetime Achievement Awards

Don Stump Receives Award
Don Stump Receives Award

Don Stump Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Christian Church Homes (CCH) CEO and President Don Stump has recently received two lifetime achievement awards from the East Bay Housing Organization, a nonprofit affordable housing advocacy coalition, and the LeadingAge California, a state chapter advocating for quality senior living and care.

While serving in a 40 year leadership role at CCH Don has also been an active leader in his local and regional church. Don met his wife Leanne while attending Phillips University in the 1970’s and has served multiple terms as board chair at Lafayette Christian Church and served as Regional Moderator for the Christian Churches of Northern California/Nevada.

During his long career in affordable housing, Don has also received multiple honors including the National Affordable Housing Management Association’s (NAHMA) “Pioneer in Affordable Housing” and the Affordable Housing Management Association’s (AHMA) coveted “Pamela E. Stroud” award for leadership in the field.

Don shares, “I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to have helped our residents who have been a source of inspiration and strength throughout my career. I am also genuinely honored to have worked with so many dedicated advocates and colleagues who also work to provide affordable housing for all who need it.“

Established in 1961, Christian Church Homes is a non-profit organization that has been building and managing affordable housing communities where seniors can live and thrive in the comfort of their own home. Having served more than 100,000 seniors during its long history, CCH has now grown to 59 caring communities that are More Than A Home to residents in nine states. These communities benefit more than 5,000 seniors, as well as the local neighborhoods, towns and cities in which they live.

CCH Seeks a New President/CEO

CCH has been building and managing affordable housing communities where seniors can live and thrive in the comfort of their own homes since 1961. Having served more than 100,000 seniors for over 58 years, CCH has now grown over 60 caring communities that are “More Than a Home” to residents in nine states.

After many strong and effective years as President and CEO, Don Stump is retiring, and a new President and CEO is sought to begin in the fall of 2019. The Search Committee has engaged Leadership Search Partners to assist with the search. Complete position specification and instructions for applying (or to ask questions) can be found here:


Chuck Blaisdell, Chair

Christian Church Homes Search Committee

CCH Expands Portfolio into Pennsylvania

Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in PA will partner with Christian Church Homes (CCH) to manage two local senior living communities, Thomas Campbell Apartments and Thomas Campbell North, located on Beech Street in Washington, Pennsylvania.

These lovely communities offer one and two bedroom units as well as cottages totaling 212 units. Constructed in the 1970’s, these communities provide affordable housing and social services programs for the senior population, aged 62 and older.

CCH CEO and President Don Stump comments, “We are pleased to welcome Thomas Campbell Apartments and Thomas Campbell North among our newest communities served by CCH. We appreciate the partnership with Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in PA as we open a new chapter here in continuing to provide quality, affordable housing in a caring community for their resident.”

Pastor John Owen, Board Chair of Thomas Campbell and Thomas Campbell North, adds, “We are very excited to join with CCH in our joint commitment to bring the highest level of quality homes and supportive services to a growing senior population. In addition to maintaining high housing standards, our residents will benefit from social services programs designed to enrich their quality of life, as well as providing resources and employment opportunities for the local community.

Established in 1961, Christian Church Homes is a non-profit organization that has been building and managing affordable housing communities where seniors can live and thrive in the comfort of their own home. Having served more than 100,000 seniors during its long history, CCH has now grown to 59 caring communities that are More Than A Home to residents in nine states. These communities benefit more than 5,000 seniors, as well as the local neighborhoods, towns and cities in which they live.

I am Seeing Fires — And Not Just One Kind!

Don Stump, President/CEO of Christian Church HomesDear Friends,

In the last few weeks, the word and the concept of “FIRE” has been in the forefront of my mind and heart. Californians have spent the last three years watching large parts of our state turn to ash as wild fires have swept through Yosemite and the national forests, wiping out entire districts of cities. CCH had a direct taste of this in early August when one of our buildings filled with seniors was evacuated in Redding, Ca. The entire CCH family watched as our seniors were scooped out of our property and sent to assorted shelters. Read an additional post from our staff about this scary event and how nicely it ended as our team pulled together.

At the same time, I see the intensity of all forms of housing shortages, especially affordable housing, rising to meteoric levels. Somebody needs to stand up and scream, “FIRE”! Indeed, after several years of lackluster decline, the level of interest and enthusiasm for affordable housing is finally starting to catch fire. Every registered voter in California needs to be prepared to show up at the ballot box on November 6 – or better still, vote early by mail or absentee ballot. Two huge housing propositions will be on the ticket in November. It is exciting to see housing issues at the top of the ballot with Propositions 1 and 2. Proposition 1 provides a general obligation bond to create $4 billion for badly needed affordable housing. These dollars will serve families, seniors, teachers, working class families and the homeless. Proposition 2 allocates $2 billion of already existing funds toward homelessness. If you are living in one of California’s urban areas, there is probably a homeless individual within a few hundred feet of your home or work place.

In addition, many local cities and counties, including the cities of Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz, Berkeley, Oakland, Sacramento, National City and San Francisco, plus the counties of Santa Clara and Napa, will have local affordable housing initiatives on the ballot. These cities and counties are following San Francisco, Alameda County and Santa Clara County which had similar measures in 2016.

A spark has been struck to create a fire underneath affordable housing. Your vote will be one more breath on that small fire. Soon, we will have a fire raging for affordable housing and people can begin to put their lives back together. CCH is supporting these state and local bond measures with our dollars, expertise and time. I ask you to join our team and get ready to push affordable housing over the finish line. See you at the ballot box on November 6!

Don Stump

Super Nana Denise Norman Gives Back to Those in Need

CCH Community Resident Denise Norman considers herself a local activist, dedicated to helping seniors find available resources to make their lives more enjoyable. A two-year resident of Sylvester Rutledge Manor, Denise is happy to have found a place to call home. She recently celebrated great news that will make an enormous impact in her life.

For many years, Denise worked as a home care provider for her husband and brother. After their demise, she fell on hard times and found herself homeless, despite having previously worked office jobs with Bank of America, the US Postal Service and other organizations. She temporarily moved into crowded living conditions with her mother before transitioning into St. Mary’s Center for homeless seniors. She jumped at the opportunity to apply for and to be accepted for residency at CCH’s Sylvester Rutledge Manor.

“It feels good,” Denise explains. “It’s home and I’m no longer on the streets.” Yet, with a fixed income, she continues to live paycheck to paycheck to make her rent and other expenses. She considers herself among the working disabled. Recent medical conditions have added to her financial burdens. She is now unable to pick up occasional odd jobs to supplement her limited income, which is why Denise was elated to hear about qualifying for Section 8 with the Oakland Housing Authority.

“Currently, 45 percent or more of my income is going towards rent,” Denise explains. “It’s not easy. I’m not able to save or put money aside. I’d like to be able to get a car. Receiving Section 8 will take a tremendous burden off me and give me more peace of mind.”

CCH has been successful in working with agencies, such as the Oakland Housing Authority, to help residents lower their rents while providing building renovations and upgrades. Sylvester Rutledge is one of three CCH properties in which most of the residents will be moving to Section 8. “How many owners are able to say they are helping residents lower their rent while still making improvements?” said CCH President and CEO Don Stump.

Denise is now able to rethink her life again. She is focused on helping others and currently serves on several boards, including United Seniors of Oakland and Alameda County, and St. Mary’s Center’s Senior Advocates for Hope and Justice. If there’s a need, Denise pushes for change. She lobbied and was successful in getting a bus bench outside her building to help disabled seniors. She is currently pushing the city to install a traffic stop sign to help seniors safely cross the street. An outspoken advocate, she lobbies legislators in Sacramento for increased SSI benefits and programs for the elderly.

“Some people can slip through the crack,” Denise says. “You can’t help everyone but I work with those who are willing to try to help themselves.”

Denise is considered a super hero by many. A proud mother of three adult children and 13 grandchildren, she’s been dubbed “Super Nana” and her caricature is portrayed on the walls of a community-inspired mural. Wearing an apron and wielding a rolling pin, the mural depicts that strength comes from within and Super Nana is able to channel her strength through the rolling pin to help others.

“Super Nana helps people who feel depressed and in need of attention,” Denise writes. “She helps people face fears, discover strength within and make a more peaceful and enjoyable life. Super Nana also can make you a mean sweet potato pie!”

Weathering a Storm of Fire

The Carr Fire, which began July 23 near Redding, is now the eighth largest wildfire in California history and among several fast moving firestorms demolishing homes, businesses and thousands of acres in Northern California and throughout the state. Our CCH property in Redding, Ca was among those affected. Tree House Senior Apartments Community Manager Kathern Sherwood shares her account.

Our CCH property in Redding was among those which received a mandatory evacuation order around 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 26. Residents and staff sprang to action when the Red Cross and family members could not reach the property because of street closures and the area being locked down.

“Everyone was amazing,” Kathern says. “I couldn’t be more proud of everyone’s concern for their neighbors and the great care taken by friends and staff to go above and beyond the call of duty in helping one another.”

Kathern explains everyone was very brave and helpful. Residents with cars filled them with other residents and either took them to the evacuation center or to their family or friends. Some residents took their neighbors to their own family homes to safety.

“As we were getting the last residents ready to leave, the authorities cut the power,” Kathern recalls. “As we left the property, we got in a long line of cars heading to the highway and it took almost two hours moving through dense smoke to get to Interstate 5.”

“I’m so thankful Tree House was spared the wrath of this devastating fire and we were allowed to return to our lovely apartments once again,” Kathern says. “The air was still thick with smoke and ash everywhere. We had face masks for everyone when the fire started.”

Upon returning, staff was in contact with Bethel Church, a distribution center for the Salvation Army and Red Cross. With the help of Social Service Coordinator Rosa Vasquez and a couple of the residents, Bethel provided more than 60 bags of food and supplies for our residents and their pets.

“We feel much loved” says Kathern. “Thank you to all who helped with this.”

Kathern expresses her special thanks to the following individuals for their extraordinary efforts:
• Janice Simon and Resident-on-Call Margie Boddy who worked wonderfully and took painstaking efforts to make sure residents were able to evacuate safely;
• Tony Caputo, a maintenance technician II, who weathered heavy smoke and checked on residents and property;
• Social Service Coordinator Rosa Vasquez who helped Kathern keep in touch with residents during the evacuation process and also with those who were in the hospital;
• Portfolio Manager Willie Smith, who was not allowed into the area but stayed in close phone contact with Kathern during the whole ordeal and served as their outside connection, calling ambulances and finding places for staff to stay; and finally
• Thanks to Willie and CCH management for supporting and taking such good care of the residents and staff.

Connecting Seniors to the World of Digital Literacy

In today’s digital society, many people take for granted the use of computers, tablets and cell phones to obtain information of interest from checking the weather to connecting with family and friends.

In this ever-expanding digital world, seniors are sometimes left behind. Thanks to a grant from the Communications Division of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPCU), seniors at Harrison Street Senior Housing, Fargo Senior Center, Sylvester Rutledge Manor, and Westlake Christian Terrace East and West, will have an opportunity to learn first-hand and to expand their knowledge of digital literacy.

Working with Tech Exchange, a nonprofit organization focused on digital equity, CCH is hosting a series of four, two-hour workshops covering the basics of computer and internet use. Instructors are on hand to provide step-by-step guidance and to answer questions. At the completion of the eight-hour course, attendees will receive a refurbished computer for their personal use.

“We are excited to bring this program to our residents,” said Social Services Coordinator Ally Lou of Harrison Street Senior Housing, which hosted the first series of workshops in early June.

“This was the first time some of the residents ever touched a computer. It was like a new toy for them,” Ally shared. “The program is opening a lot of new knowledge for our residents.” CCH is looking to expand the program to even more communities in the future.

The digital literacy workshop is one of many CCH-supported programs that seeks to broaden the definition of what constitutes a community. Beyond providing affordable and safe housing, CCH aims to offer value-added services that makes residents’ lives more manageable. This is one more way we further our mission to provide affordable quality housing in caring communities.

Save the Date: Annual Fundraising Gala

Join us Friday, Sept. 28, for our Annual Fundraising Gala at the Historical Oakland Rotunda located in downtown Oakland, California. Our theme this year is: “CCH: Celebrating Diversity – Building Dignity.”

We are celebrating the diversity of our resident population by offering a variety of fine ethnic cuisines and live entertainment. Your senses will be excited by delicious flavors while your heart is lifted by the stories of our community members and speeches from prominent figures who believe in our mission of providing affordable quality housing in caring communities.

Purchase tickets and mark your calendars! We hope to see you there.

Advocacy Day 2018

On June 6, CCH residents and staff joined LeadingAge California and many affordable housing nonprofits at the State Capitol in Sacramento. Approximately 200 participants met with lawmakers to secure endorsements for initiatives and funding that affect supportive services and protections for seniors living in affordable housing.

CCH Social Services Coordinator Desiree Jackson, who attended the event, shares, “This is one of the most rewarding things about my job. I always have a great time, focused on the issues, helping the residents share their most deepest desire and need for affordable housing and all that it entails.”