First Christian Residence to close its doors Oct. 21

First Christian Residence and Nursing Home will close on Oct. 21 due to financial troubles, marking it the state’s 48th nursing home to close in the past six years according to a report from the Minnesota Department of Human Services.

The nearby First Christian Church, 2201 1st Ave. S., owns the 65-bed nursing home at 2300 Stevens Ave. S. in the Whittier neighborhood. It was open for 40 years and had 49 residents before closing.

It started as a volunteer-driven retirement community and later turned to skilled-care services, said David Pyles, who chairs the nursing home’s board.

In a statement about the closure, the nursing home’s Administrator, Leah Killian-Smith, said: “Like many other small stand-alone nursing homes, First Christian Residence could not continue to operate under the current Medicaid rate structure and census deficits.”

First Christian Residence is in the process of placing its residents in other facilities – as is required by a state law, and finding jobs for its employees, Killian-Smith said.

A new use for the building hasn’t yet been determined, but a First Christian Church committee is the process of exploring other options, said Allison Robeck, a church spokesperson. Robeck said she couldn’t disclose what possibilities the committee is considering.