On the Bethany Methodist Communities' website, the nonprofit describes its values with an acronym, Bethany CARES. Compassion, Advocacy, Respect, Excellence and Stewardship.
The organization promises to "treasure and responsibly manage all God-given gifts and resources — human, material and financial — entrusted to us."
Bethany Methodist's chief operating officer, Wolfgang Mayer, says that is exactly what it did for former resident Linda Evans and her $262,000 entrance fee.
Evans' daughter, Kathryn Wisner, disagrees.
In 2009 Evans and her husband, George Evans, moved into Chestnut Square, an independent living facility run by Bethany Methodist in Glenview.
They paid the $262,000 fee, along with roughly $3,000 a month in rent, under the understanding they would get the entire $262,000 back after they vacated the apartment. According to the contract, the money would be returned, in full, as soon as another resident occupied the unit.
George Evans died in January 2012 and a short time later, Linda Evans grew ill.
Last summer, Wisner and her sister decided to move their 84-year-old mother out of the facility, in part because she needed round-the-clock help, and in part because it would free up the $262,000, which could then be used to pay for care.
It wasn't an easy decision.
"My mother was happy at Chestnut Square," Wisner said. "She made lots of friends and felt comfortable there."
In August, Wisner asked the facility to put her mother's apartment on the market and informed officials there that Evans would be moving out in the fall, she said.
The facility agreed to allow Evans to vacate the unit in 60 days rather than the required 120 days' notice.
On Nov. 1, Wisner moved her mother to an apartment several blocks away where she received round-the-clock care.
Getting the money back from Chestnut Square was critical, Wisner said.
Care for her mother cost $15,000 a month, quickly depleting her mother's available funds. By April, the situation had become "dire," Wisner said.
Then things seemed to brighten.
One of her mom's friends at Chestnut Square called Wisner on April 27 to say it appeared her mom's old apartment had been rented. On May 13, the friend called again to say someone had moved in, Wisner said.
But when the family and its attorney contacted Chestnut Square to inquire about the $262,000, they were told it could take up to 45 days for the money to be returned.
Wisner said the family made it clear that obtaining the money quickly was essential so they could pay for her mother's continued care.
On May 20, the family's lawyer sent Chestnut Square a letter, pointing out that the contract states the money would be returned as soon as the apartment became re-occupied and makes no mention of a 45-day wait. He demanded payment by May 31.