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Floyd Sunshine Manor

Articles: Sarasota History

Author: Ann A. Shank, former County Historian
Photo Credit: Sarasota County History Center
Credit: Sarasota County History Center

Sarasota History - Floyd Sunshine Manor photo

The J.H. Floyd Sunshine Manor was the product of dreams and hard work of the Rev. John Henry Floyd and a number of church people in Sarasota's black community in the 1950s. When the Choirs Union, an organization of church choirs, formed the Old Folk Aid Club in 1951, racial segregation was still the custom in Sarasota, and there was no assisted living or nursing facility outside of private homes to care for senior African-Americans who needed such care.

With less than $1,000 available, Floyd recruited volunteers to raise funds and raise a building. In this 1957 photo from the collection of Mrs. Flora Ogletree, representatives from participating churches break ground for the first Old Folk Aid Home on East Myrtle Avenue. Mrs. Ogletree is standing is the middle, and the Rev. Floyd on the right. The home opened in 1960 with more than 30 residents.

A new facility on 18th Street opened in 1967, with an addition a decade later. As the need for the home's services became known in the larger Sarasota community, construction funds from the Selby Foundation and United Appeal supplemented those donated by concerned individuals. In 1982 the Old Folk Aid Home was renamed the J. H. Floyd Sunshine Manor in honor of the man without whose energy the home would not have been built.

J.H. Floyd, a builder, came to Sarasota in 1925, at the height of Florida's building boom. During the next half century he made his mark on Sarasota and is remembered by Annie M. McElroy in "But Your World and My World" as was having had "the best interest of the community in all of his endeavors." As a builder he helped Baptist Church and a new facility for Mount Moriah Baptist Church and taught carpentry at Booker High School. As a community leader he actively participated in the Bi-Racial Committee, United Way, Choirs Union, Booker High School PTA and the Old Folk Aid Home Board of Directors. After his ordination in 1957, Floyd was the pastor of Mount Moriah Baptist Church until his death in 1974.

The J.H. Floyd Sunshine Manor continues to grow to meet the needs of the community.