In the Beginning

The Naiditch Family

Every good story has a beginning. Homeward Bound’s begins in 1973 when several families got together and formed this wonderful organization. One of those very important families was The Naiditch Family, (Ernest, Barbara, Susie, Mike, and Marty). Homeward Bound served Marty.

Barbara and her husband Ernest served on our Board of Directors and worked along with several other wonderful families to build an organization that was innovative, advocated for choice, enriched the lives of those served with severe disabilities and provided support with kindness and compassion. Barbara Naiditch, Marty’s mother named “Homeward Bound” after hearing the Simon and Garfunkel song “Homeward Bound” on the radio.

Their dream came true when Homeward Bound New Hope opened in 1976, serving 64 children. Today we have 20 homes in 10 Twin Cities Metro Communities. What a special legacy.

Unfortunately, Ernest passed away several years ago and Barbara passed away this year. Jane Bangert, Barbara’s sister and her daughter Susie reached out and asked me for help in honoring their mother who gave so much of herself in those early years to Homeward Bound. A memorial plaque hangs in our board room which reads: In Loving Memory of Barbara Naiditch 1938-2021 Who Believed in Being the Voice For Those Who Could Not Speak for Themselves.

Honoring a Founder

A video was also created and sent to the family so they could privately celebrate Barbara’s extraordinary life. Thanks to Grant Haley and Don Priebe for helping to make a wonderful video.

A special thanks to Jan Gunderson who worked with Marty in those early years and provided several pictures of Marty and his family for the video. Marty was very special to Jan as I am certain she was to him.

The Development Department is so blessed because we hear these wonderful stories and talk to these wonderful families, friends, donors, volunteers and board members of Homeward Bound that have lead remarkable, giving lives.

Thanks to the Naiditch family for sharing their story and giving us a reason to celebrate Barbara’s life right along with them.

Here is the link and URL to the video:

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