The Charles P. & Margaret E. Polk Foundation, a non-profit entity, was incorporated in 1955, by Dr. Miriam Polk-Halporn and her sister, Dr. Florence Howitt, in memory of their parents. The purpose of the Foundation is to provide housing accommodations for the elderly.
While Dr. Florence Howitt made an initial contribution to the Foundation, Dr. Miriam, as she was affectionately called, was the primary Foundation benefactor.
Dr. Miriam was married to Dr. Benjamin Halporn and both engaged in the general practice of medicine in the Harrisburg area until their retirement in 1960. They then took a three year trip around the world, after which they returned to Millersburg. They took up residence in the homestead at 321 North Street, which is part of the site for the present facility. Dr. Ben, after many years in a coma, died in their home in 1980.
Dr. Florence and her husband predeceased Dr. Miriam.
In 1978, the Foundation commenced carrying out its purpose by constructing an apartment complex to house the elderly. The first phase consisted of 27 apartment units (efficiency, one and two-bedroom apartments) located at the corner of Moore and Walnut Street, Millersburg. This site was formerly the Polk Tool Plant and later Red’s grocery store.
As time passed and the waiting list for apartments grew, the Foundation acquired the Moore Street School building, located in the 400 block of Moore Street, in 1983. This building was renovated to provide an additional 31 units (one and two-bedroom apartments). An elevator was installed in the east end, so that all apartments were easily accessible.
In 1986, the Grace United Methodist Church property, located at 401 Center Street, was acquired by the Foundation. The church building was dismantled and removed from the site. The educational building remained. This building was renovated and a large building was constructed around it in order to provide a total of 31 additional one and two-bedroom apartments. Laundry facilities, social room, and sitting areas are easily accessible to the residents.
During this 20 year period, Dr. Miriam was active in the Foundation and its activities. After her death on June 2, 1997, and in accordance with her wishes, the property in which she resided was torn down in order to make way for the construction of Polk Personal Care Center. Preliminary plans were reviewed by her prior to her death and she was excited about the legacy she would leave after her death. Her dream was realized when Polk Personal Care Center opened its' doors on April 1, 2000.