A Dansville hallmark will close its doors after occupying a stately East Hill manor for nearly a century.

A Dansville hallmark will close its doors after occupying a stately East Hill manor for nearly a century.

King’s Daughters and Sons Home, one of several adult homes across the country that belong to the Chautauqua-based International Order of the King’s Daughters and Sons, will be closing its doors on or before May 3, depending on how soon its residents can find a new place to live.

The Home will begin to lay off its 23 employees at the end of this month.

The local adult home, which opened in Dansville Sept. 19, 1919 – the second IOKDS home, and since the early 1950s has become its oldest – announced its imminent closure to its six residents and 23 staff members Jan. 3.

King’s Daughters’ former administrator and now-assistant administrator Linda Klien, said the Home’s local executive committee decided last fall that the longstanding community resource will have to close, but did not want to break the news to its residents, staff and to the public until after the holidays.

The recent recession caused the King’s Daughters home to lose half of its $5 million investment in the stock market, which was the beginning of the end, Klien said.

Once it became apparent that the not-for-profit home would never recoup its lost $2.5 million, Klien said that’s when reality sunk in.

Investments from large endowments were placed in the stock market during the early decades of the home’s operation. But since the 1950s, those endowments lessened dramatically.

About 20 years ago, the home began charging a daily rate to residents.

At the time of closure, rates were $60 per day.

When asked if the declining enrollment – which had been averaging 18 – is a factor in the home’s closing, Klien said no, stating that even if the 18 beds were occupied, $60 a day would still not be enough to keep the home afloat.

In addition, the home had a financial assistance program for those who could not afford the cost.

“We financially subsidized probably more people than (those who) paid the private pay rate,” Klien said.

That money – which grew to about a half-million dollars – dried up about two years ago, Klien said; and yet, the home did not turn anyone away because of lack of affordability.

“And you can’t keep operating like that forever without some big windfall or something changing,”?Klien admitted.

The only residents the Home turned away were those who suffered from dementia.

Both Klien and current administrator Patty Simmons said that the state’s health department was not surprised to hear the news of the closure. Many not-for-profit nursing homes are shutting down across the state, they said.

For Simmons, this is the second adult home she saw close. Her first was the Nunda Community Home, where she was the administrator there, also.

“This is very difficult for us,” Klien said, teary-eyed. “It’s not a job; it’s a mission.”

For her and Simmons, running an adult home “becomes a lifestyle,” and everyone becomes family.

As for the residents, “This is breaking thier hearts as well,” Klien said, who had anticipated being a resident there, herself, one day.

“It just never crossed my mind that this place wouldn’t always be here,”?Klien said. “It was kind of a culture shock.”

Regarding selling the 1859 structure, which was originally built as a Methodist seminary, Klien said the local executive committee has to find four comparable buildings in order to set a fair asking price. That will not been easy, she said.

All money received from the sale of the property will go back to the mission of the 501 (c) 3 IOKDS organization, which celebrated its 125th anniversary Jan. 13.

As far the Dansville structure sitting empty, Klien said the Home’s local executive committee will be in charge of making sure the building is secure and maintained until a buyer is found.

She said that the structure was built for Christian service, that IOKDS is a Christian organization, and that she hopes  and prays another Christian organization can make use of it.