What is the American Gold Star Manor?

The American Gold Star Manor is a not for profit charitable trust that owns and manages an affordable, senior housing complex for the benefit of members of American Gold Star Mothers, Inc., gold star fathers, veterans and other qualified seniors. It also provides support for the American Gold Star Mothers, Inc. organization. The Manor is located in Long Beach, California and is the only facility of its kind in the United States.


Our Residents say...

“A Home Away From Home”.

“I enjoy how quiet and peaceful it is here at the Manor”.

“For me it makes a wonderful, clean and comfortable place to live that I can afford. I only have to pay for my rent and my telephone”.

“It’s safe and secure, with guards on duty 24/7. There are even guards who rove the grounds at night”.

“There is so much to do; I have trouble deciding where to go next”.

“It’s wonderful that the management always has picnics and special holiday meals for us; it’s especially important for those of us who have no family nearby”.

“This is not just a place to live, but a home away from home”.

“A veteran can afford it. The camaraderie here with other vets is great. For veterans, it’s the greatest.”



A mini documentary style promotional video describing the history, features, and residents of the American Gold Star Manor in Long Beach, California. Produced by Kay Cofield, California Media, Long Beach, California.

More About US

Gold Star Manor One Of City’s Best Secrets

By Leslie A.M. Smith

Long Beach Gazette - Staff Writer | Posted: Friday, May 22, 2009 12:00 am

American Gold Star Manor, an independent living facility, covers 23 landscaped acres on the west side of Long Beach to offer low-income seniors a unique place to live.  "It’s Long Beach’s best-kept secret,” said Terry Geiling, president of the nonprofit organization that manages the property.  The facility got its name from the American Gold Star Mothers organization, which was formed after World War I. According to its Web site, when a son or daughter went off to war, mothers would hang a flag in their window featuring a blue star in a field of white in support of their child’s service.  When a son or daughter was killed, a gold star covered the blue star.  President Woodrow Wilson referred to these women as “Gold Star Mothers.” The women united and created the American Gold Star Mothers organization. There now are several chapters throughout the United States that meet annually for a conference.

The current site in Long Beach once was military barracks where Gold Star Mothers would come to live and support each other. It came to be known as the National Home for Gold Star Mothers. “The apartments then were really small little buildings — almost like dollhouses,” said Bethann Cairns, the Manor’s office manager.  According to Cairns, the home attracted women from all over the country to come to Long Beach to live on the premises.  “After 50 years, it was still considered temporary housing, and the termites were winning,” said  Geiling.  With the help of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the temporary housing was re-built to its existing $6 million complex in 1973. The independent living  Gold Star Manor One Of City’s Best Secrets  FLAGS FLYING. Patriotism is still on display at the Gold Star Manor in Long Beach. —Gazette photo by Leslie A.M. Smith

Our facility caters to low-income individuals older than age 62 who are Gold Star Mothers, or other seniors.  “This is the only facility of its kind,” Geiling said. “The non-profit — American Gold Star Manor — was set-up in 1974 in order to manage the home for the women living here.”  The manor has 348 units ranging from studios to two-bedroom apartments. They are at maximum occupancy with 400 residents.  “There currently are only four Gold Star Mothers and one Gold Star Father living here,” Cairns said. “We have a two-year waiting list and Gold Star Mothers are given priority, but veterans are  not given any priority.” “I’m working hard to get changes made to allow younger Gold Star Mothers to be eligible to move in,” Geiling said.  “Mothers of the Vietnam era are in their 80s, but mothers of more recent wars are only in their late 50s, which does not meet the HUD age requirement. Then vets, if not the mothers, then at least vets should be given some priority.  “The property was originally larger, “A portion was sold off and that money was invested and (the endowment) is used to help pay for utilities.” As an independent living facility, the residents are expected to be able to take care of themselves and their apartments. Geiling said many residents do have caregivers that come in and help in a variety of ways.  The property is gated with 24-hour security. The premises include a recreation room for classes,  a library, a pool, a community garden area and a roving cart that will carry residents from one end of the property to another. The nonprofit organization is able to subsidize some of the expenses through its investments. The Manor also arranges activities for the residents on and off the premises.

For more information, go to www.goldstarmoms.com