Sunday, May 24, 2015
|Phinney-Greenwood neighborhood Village members|
Photo courtesy Senior Services
This is the first of a four-part series about the Village that is being planned for Shoreline.
A Village for Shoreline: Part One
A few of your neighbors think Shoreline could benefit by forming a Village. And they hope to entice you to get involved by helping plan it, volunteer once it has launched, and/or become a member so you can enjoy all the benefits.
What is a Village? It is not so much a place as it is a plan for aging in your home. It is a membership-based organization with paid staff who act as a personal, central resource to coordinate access to services for you. The services will help you stay in your home as you age and could be provided by trained neighborhood volunteers, or you might be referred to screened vendors for more complex needs and services. Many Villages also offer social and activity groups.
You can be part of a Village whether you need these services yourself, or can provide them for members. Services might include: yard work, rides to the doctor or a friend’s house, housecleaning, companionship, pet care, painters, plumbers, grocery shopping and educational and social events at nearby locations.
How did Villages get started? Originally started in the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Boston, MA in 2002, the Village concept arose out of community members’ desire to reside in their own homes while being able to access services that addressed their changing lifestyles as they aged. They wanted to take responsibility for their aging, which meant deciding how they would live and ultimately spend their last days. At its core, the Village Movement is customer and community-driven. Now there are more than 200 in the US.
Here is a short video featuring a member from the PNA Village in Seattle.
Is there a typical Village? Not really. “If you've seen one Village; you’ve seen one Village.” Each one is planned specifically to meet the needs of the local community. By design, all Villages focus on engagement to remain healthy, not on frailty and disability. Interdependence is the goal, not isolated independence. And for those of you who are already members of the SWEL Timebank, you can see that a Village is a great partner for Timebanking in a close-knit community like Shoreline.
What Are the Costs? Each Village determines its own annual fees, so they can range from $250 per year to $900 per year for an individual. Volunteer services are free to members; professionals and agencies charge fees but may give discounts to Village members.
Who is Involved in Shoreline So Far? It’s at the embryonic stage, so …. YOU could help plan it! Folks like Chris Eggen (Shoreline City Council), and Judy Parsons and Bob Lohmeyer of the Shoreline Senior Center are part of the planning group.
There are already three Villages in Seattle: PNA Village (Phinney-Greenwood neighborhood), NEST (NE Seattle), and Wider Horizons (serving Central Seattle)
In the next three articles, we'll go into more depth about who joins Villages, how they work, and how they get started and develop.
Curious? To find out a bit more and about the next meeting on June 2, please contact Joanne Donohue at Senior Services firstname.lastname@example.org, 206-727-6206