Our History


Barbara Friedly, Louise Bergman and Louise Marsteller founded PLACES, Inc. in 1988 to provide housing and supportive services for people trying to recover from mental illnesses. The founders wanted to provide a safe home and a family setting for their residents. Many individuals, churches and local charitable organizations willingly supported the organization.

From left: Ginny Chesterson, a former staff member, and Barbara Friedly, a co-founder of PLACES, greet a client.


  • PLACES is incorporated as a 501(c)(3) private, not-for-profit corporation in June.
  • PLACES receives its first License to Conduct a Residential Care Facility from the Ohio Department of Mental Health in October.
  • Attorney Tom Randolph serves as legal counsel and helps PLACES obtain a conditional use permit from the Dayton Board of Zoning Appeals for the first Residential Adult Care Facility. Services are provided at Lexington Lodge beginning in November. PLACES is licensed to house 12 residents in four apartments at Lexington Lodge.


  • Marty Santoloci becomes the first executive director of PLACES. He is remembered for the care he provided to residents and his expansion of the Residential Adult Care Facilities program.
  • Tom Randolph begins serving on the Board of Trustees.


  • A free-standing eight-bed Residential Adult Care Facility opens on North Main Street in Harrison Twp. in March.
  • Another eight-bed Residential Adult Care Facility opens in Trotwood in July.


  • Lexington Lodge residents are relocated to a newly purchased 12-bed Adult Care Facility on Dayton’s east side called Gascho Gardens.


  • PLACES begins offering a limited service called the Supportive Living Program to serve clients living independently at Briar Place, operated by Miami Valley Housing Opportunities, and other independent apartments.


  • The Supportive Living Program expands its size and scope with the addition of a grant to establish Opening Doors for the Homeless in Montgomery County. The original program was formed by a collaboration of 12 service providers – including PLACES, the grant administrator – to give homeless individuals with mental health diagnoses increased access to housing and supportive services. Opening Doors for the Homeless later targets the hard-to-serve homeless with more intensive services to help them get the tools they need to obtain and retain permanent housing, secure employment and income, and reintegrate into the community.
  • PLACES opens another Adult Care Facility, an eight-bed home in Huber Heights, in December.


  • The newly opened Adult Care Facility in Huber Heights is dedicated in honor of Marty Santoloci, the former executive director at PLACES, who died in January. It is renamed Marty’s House.
  • Roy Craig, who began serving as interim director in February, is named executive director in July by the PLACES Board of Trustees.


  • PLACES works to build and strengthen its organizational infrastructure to ensure proper and consistent business practices, personnel policies, staffing, contracts, schedules and compliance with legal requirements.



  • In part because of the leadership provided for the Opening Doors for the Homeless program, PLACES is awarded a grant by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to operate the first Housing First Program in Montgomery County. This program provides permanent supportive housing to single, homeless adults with serious mental health issues. Serving homeless individuals who struggle with serious mental health issues becomes a significant part of the mission at PLACES.


  • After two years of program development work, PLACES in September opens Cobblegate, its first Housing First facility, for 10 tenants in Moraine. PLACES continues to provide grant administration for Opening Doors for the Homeless as well as case management and startup funds for tenants moving into apartments as part of the Housing First Program.
  • The PLACES Board of Trustees votes in August to build an endowment with a planned and deferred giving program through The Dayton Foundation’s Legacy Partnership Program. The goal is to ensure the financial viability of PLACES in the future. The endowment is later named the Heart and Home Legacy Society.


  • HUD awards PLACES a second grant to operate another Housing First facility, this time for eight men and women in Harrison Twp. Tangy Court opens in February.


  • PLACES dedicates and renames its North Main Street Adult Care Facility Randolph House in September in honor of longtime Board of Trustees member Tom Randolph shown at left. He served on the board from 1990 until 2008 and was vice president for four years and president for three years. Tom also was instrumental in resolving zoning issues for three of the four Residential Adult Care Facilities.
  • PLACES celebrates its 20th anniversary at the organization’s summer picnic.


  • A third Housing First facility housing eight men and women opens on Belvo Road in October.
  • The Opening Doors for the Homeless program receives the Health Promotion Award for an established program from the Center for Healthy Communities. The award recognizes community-based health promotion programs that serve citizens of the greater Dayton area.
  • Longtime board member Zerella Roberts receives the Emmett C. Orr Volunteer of the Year Award from the Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services (ADAMHS) Board for Montgomery County in June.


  • HUD awards PLACES another grant to operate a fourth Housing First facility, which will house 12 men and women, beginning in 2013.
  • A new collaboration between PLACES and South Community Behavioral Healthcare makes it easier and more convenient for PLACES clients and tenants to get and take their medications. The collaboration gives clients and tenants the option to fill their prescriptions at Quality of Life (QoL) meds, the on-site pharmacy at South Community, where some already go for behavioral health care services.


  • PLACES uses $27,910 in grants to complete critical repairs and improvements to its four Residential Adult Care facilities – Randolph House, Trotwood, Gascho Gardens and Marty’s House – benefiting 36 residents. The grants were awarded by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and the Ohio Housing Finance Agency through the department’s Adult Care Facility Critical Repair grant process.
  • Miami Valley Housing Opportunities selects PLACES as its services provider for the Returning Home Ohio (RHO) reentry program, which helps people with severe mental illnesses reentering society after incarceration. PLACES connects clients to mental health agencies and teaches them so they can maintain housing, obtain valid employment to increase their income, improve their quality of life and ultimately be independent in their own housing. The program goal is to reduce recidivism.

  • PLACES receives a $15,000 grant from the George B. Quatman Foundation, Fifth Third Bank, Trustee, to purchase computers and additional hardware as part of its electronic system upgrade project. The grant will help PLACES transition into electronic health records in the future.
  • A fourth Housing First facility housing 12 men and women opens on Imperial Court in Vandalia in September (at right).
  • PLACES celebrates its 25th anniversary at the organization’s Holiday Party.


  • In honor of its 25th anniversary, PLACES builds a commemorative walkway at Gascho Gardens, the 12-bed PLACES Residential Adult Care Facility on Dayton’s east side. Friends of PLACES donate toward the commemorative walkway to benefit the Heart and Home Legacy Society, the PLACES endowment fund established through The Dayton Foundation. Gascho Gardens evolved from the first PLACES Residential Adult Care Facility in 1988.