Jane Barney Legacy Society

Jane Barney was the first board president of Avalon Housing when it was founded in 1992. At the time, Jane was 78 and well-known locally as an activist for social and economic justice and civil rights. Throughout her life, Jane dedicated herself to ending war, fighting racism, expanding health care opportunities for African Americans, improving the lives of older adults, and combating homelessness.

During the 1990’s Jane participated in a work group that met monthly over a ten-year period to determine how to create more housing solutions in Ann Arbor, especially for people who were chronically homeless. Their work formed the vision and foundation for Avalon Housing.

Says Carole McCabe, Avalon’s former executive director, “Being in unchartered territory did not frighten or deter Jane, and she helped instill in all of us a sense of courage, openness, and a long-term view. Her humility, sense of justice and her love for all people helped instill these values in Avalon’s culture.”

Jane served on Avalon’s board of directors until 2000, when she was 86. She died at the age of 104 on July 7, 2018. Jane’s final gift to Avalon was to include Avalon in her will. We are deeply grateful for her enduring commitment to Avalon’s vision of ending homelessness in our community. In honor of Jane Barney and her contributions to Avalon, we have formed the Jane Barney Legacy Society. Members of the Legacy Society have chosen to include Avalon in their estate plan.


Photo by Abe Aronow


If you have included Avalon in your estate plans, please let us know. We would like to thank you for your generosity. We also want to ensure that we understand the purpose of your gift and – with your express permission – recognize you as a member of our Legacy Society.

For more information about planned gifts, or to notify us of your bequest intention, please contact Marcia Luke-van Dijk, Director of Communications and Fund Development.