Our History

The Givens Communities story covers four decades, beginning with the generosity of Marion Givens and her husband, Dr. Maurice Givens. The Givens were charitable people who donated to hospitals, universities, and museums. Marion Givens treasured her summer months cooling off at their home in the western North Carolina mountains of Asheville.

During her final years, with the help of a few trusted advisors, she arranged to leave 160 acres of her Asheville estate on Sweeten Creek Road with the stipulation it would be developed into a retirement community. After her death, the Marion… J. Givens Trust worked with leaders in the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church to establish Givens Estates.

In 1979, the flagship community of Givens Estates consisted of 78 one-and two-bedroom apartments within ten buildings, partly funded through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Now, four distinct senior living communities, outreach ministries, and partnerships support older adults and their families. An all-volunteer board of directors approved by the United Methodist Conference governs the Givens organization.

Givens’ relationship with the WNC United Methodist Church and the Marion J. Givens Trust has remained constant throughout four decades of exponential growth. The Givens’ initial generosity has continued to provide a solid foundation for growth and development across four decades. The Givens story continues to unfold and has had an impact on more lives for decades to come.


Beyond four walls and a roof

Givens provides more than four walls and a roof to our residents. The communities offer rich and meaningful experiences and support services that empower residents to maintain independence.

Givens’s affordable communities address homelessness, food insecurities, and health and wellness in a clean and safe environment. Residents live fully and enjoy meaning in life.

Visionary leadership, a culture of service and giving back, and maintaining our values all contribute to the organization’s achievements and leadership status in the community.

Read about how we’re making a difference in the lives of all populations, including economically diverse and underserved segments of older adults.

Our Values

Givens’ vision is Endless Possibilities, Vibrant Aging, while our mission is Creating Community, Empowering Lives. This vision and mission includes the broader population of Western North Carolina and the residents within our Givens Communities organization.

Our Vision

Endless Possibilities, Vibrant Aging

Our Mission

Creating Community, Empowering Lives

Along with our vision and mission, our four core values are People Passionate, Make a Difference, Power of Community, and Do What’s Right.

People Passionate

We value every person. We strive to respect, support, enrich, and empower one another.

We honor our legacy of making a difference in the lives of others. We see opportunities in challenges, seek creative solutions, and work tirelessly to ensure that we are improving and innovating to be a positive force in our community.

We are better and more creative when we work together. We harness the power of community for the greatest possible impact through collaboration, strong relationships, and embracing diversity.

We act with integrity and accountability, recognizing what is right is not always easy or popular. We take responsibility for our decisions, persevere through challenges, and are good stewards of our resources.


We promote inclusivity by aligning our words with our actions. Givens Communities treats each person with dignity and respect and welcomes all as valued community members. Diverse viewpoints inspire growth and make us stronger. We love and appreciate the various voices and perspectives that contribute to our organization.

In 2014, the Givens Communities Board of Directors adopted an ongoing organization-wide diversity and inclusion strategic plan. From this, we have created an Inclusion Committee that meets several times a year and leads efforts to ensure that communities are equitable for our residents and team members. In addition to the Inclusion Committee, dedicated Task Forces work on specific areas of focus.

We are proud partners with the following organizations that support non-majority populations:

Platinum-level sponsor of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Association of Asheville and Buncombe County

A local association made up of individuals and organizations interested in preserving and advancing the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by promoting goodwill and mutual respect among all peoples.

A local organization that promotes equality, safety, and quality of life for Western North Carolina's LGBTQ+ and allied communities.

An LGBTQ+ Elder Advocacy group with annual training for all team members as part of the certificate.

The Long-Term Care Equality Index (LEI) is a joint project of SAGE and the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. The LEI was created as a national benchmarking tool promoting LGBTQ+ inclusive policies and practices in long-term care and senior housing communities. The LEI helps communities implement, strengthen, and innovate their LGBTQ+ inclusion efforts and formally recognizes those communities that lead the field in LGBTQ+ inclusion. 200 communities from 34 states participated in the 2023 LEI survey. In the 2023 LEI survey, all Givens Communities campuses were recognized as a “Long-Term Care Equality High Performer”. You can review the Long-Term Care Equality Index at https://reports.hrc.org/2023-long-term-care-equality-index

A local organization that supports a robust network of people, partners, and resources to co-create opportunities for every person in our community to live free from poverty and injustice.

*Our leadership team recently completed cultural inclusion training in partnership with a local consultant with plans for additional training at all levels of the organization.

We are committed to continuing the conversation and embracing all dimensions of diversity and inclusion, including race, age, religion, color, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, disability, culture, and socioeconomic status. These various facets of life make our communities a great place to live and work.


Givens’ leadership team is forward-thinking and strategic as they approach the evolving concept of aging successfully. The executive team is skilled in leading a complex business and organization while delivering quality care and service to residents in the four communities.

Board of Directors

    • Mrs. Donna A. Broadwell*
    • Ms. Alisa J. Brown
    • Dr. Kelli R. Brown
    • The Reverend Dr. Mary W. Brown
    • The Reverend Karen L. Easter Bayne
    • Mr. Adam K. Ennis
    • Ms. Murphy Horne Fletcher
    • Mr. Charles L. Frederick
    • Mr. Larry B. Harris
    • Mr. Horace S. Jennings
    • Dr. Margaret A. Kuhn
    • Dr. Suzanne E. Landis
    • Ms. Rebekah M. Lowe
    • Mr. William Mance
    • Mrs. Connie B. Martin
    • Mr. Joseph P. McGuire
    • Mr. F. Patrick McGuire
    • Mr. Robert M. McKown
    • Mr. Russell Moxley
    • Dr. Judy L. Phillips
    • Mr. Charles Pine
    • The Reverend W. Mark Ralls
    • Mr. Robert E. Shepherd*
    • Mrs. Sarah-Ann Smith
    • Mr. Kenneth W. Swayze Jr.
    • Mr. G. Edward Towson, II
    • The Reverend Dr. R. Keith Turman
    • Mr. David C. Whilden
    • Mr. Alfred J. Whitesides, Jr.

    * Honorary Life Member

(828) 575-1140
90 Far Horizons Lane, Asheville, NC 28803