The story of the Fellowship Square Foundation began with the Rev. Dr. John A. Scherzer’s (1901-1994) vision to provide affordable housing for older adults and people with disabilities who have limited income and resources. From the start, Scherzer, a Lutheran pastor, and members of the Lutheran Lay Fellowship of Metropolitan Washington aspired to do more than provide shelter and collect rent . They believed that a caring staff, a comfortable and secure living environment and amenities such as libraries, social halls and opportunities for pastoral support and religious worship were essential.
Incorporated in 1960, the first Fellowship house in Reston, Virginia welcomed residents in 1971 with an expansion five years later. From 1979-1984, the Foundation added three more communities one more in Reston, and two more in Woodbridge, Va. and Upper Marlboro, Md.
The Foundation receives funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to support the expenses associated with each house, including property management, mortgages, construction costs, building maintenance, taxes, insurance and rent subsidies.
Fellowship Square Foundation has an ongoing relationship with the Lutheran Church that continues to provide voluntary leadership and support.
Today, the Foundation continues to provide and to advocate for affordable housing that enhances resident independence, self-confidence and well-being. Its four houses are currently managed by E.L. Nusbaum Inc. with oversight by the Foundation’s staff and leadership.
- 1960 – In August Milton J. Prassas recommends a senior housing project in Washington, D.C. and Lutheran Laymen’s Fellowship committee is established. Corporate charter for FSF is issued by D.C. Government on November 30.
- 1961 – The first meeting of Board of Trustees is held.
- 1961-1966 – The search for additional senior housing is underway.
- 1969 – Funding is approved for the first community.
- 1970 – FSF breaks ground for Lake Anne I Fellowship House.
- 1971 – Dedication of Lake Anne I Fellowship House.
- 1976 – Dedication of Lake Anne II Fellowship House.
- 1978 – Dedication of Hunters Woods Fellowship House.
- 1983 – Dedication of Lake Ridge Fellowship House.
- 1984 – Dedication of Largo Landing Fellowship House.
- 1985 – FSF celebrates 25 years of serving seniors and the disabled. An anniversary banquet is held on November 16 for residents and staff.