St. Johnland has a long and rich history of caring for the needy. In 1866, William Augustus Muhlenberg, D.D., an educator, minister, and a prominent social innovator, raised the necessary funds to purchase 500 acres of woodlands and fields on the north shore of western Suffolk County, now known as Kings Park.
His dream was to establish a haven for aged, destitute men; provide care for handicapped children; educate impoverished youths; and organize a self-sufficient agricultural community for needy families from New York City. In 1870, The Society of St. Johnland was incorporated by the State of New York as a non-profit organization, governed by a voluntary Board of Trustees.
Over the years, the original purpose of caring for the needy, young and old, was maintained. In the early 1950s, the Board of Trustees faced a dilemma: caring for the two disparate age groups required separate staffs. As much as the Board wanted to maintain the original purpose, they acknowledged that the quality of care would suffer if they did this. The Board resolved to specialize in care for the elderly. From that time until the mid-1970s, approximately 90 residents at any given time were cared for at St. Johnland. In the early 70s, the Board recognized the need to streamline the care by having one building as well as the need to upgrade the facility. Just after Christmas in 1975, the residents moved into the new and larger facility which is currently in use.
Since that time, additional services have been added to the skilled nursing facility. In the 1990s, a Head Injury Rehabilitation Unit and an Alzheimer’s / Dementia Unit were added. A subacute care program was added in 2004. St. Johnland also provides services to those living at home in the community through two adult day care programs. Currently, St. Johnland accommodates more than 350 people each day with these services. The original philosophy of caring for the needy continues.