A planning group of Eastside residents have enthusiastically taken on the task of developing the first aging-in-place “Village” in the Portland metro area.

Modeled after Beacon Hill Village in Boston, this kind of Village is not a building or a real estate development or a retirement community. Rather, it is a group of like-minded people who live within the same geographic area who come together to develop the resources they will need to age comfortably in their own homes. There are currently over 90 of these Villages in existence—including Villages in Bend, Ashland and Seattle—with over 100 more in development across the country.

The primary purpose of Eastside Village, PDX will be to assist older adults and people with disabilities to live at home safely, affordably, happily and healthily for as long as they choose by creating a coordinated network of volunteer and reduced cost services that supports village members to “do as much for as little cost for as long as possible.”

Village membership will be open to anyone age 18 or older so that people with disabilities who aren’t yet seniors may benefit from its services and support.

The Eastside Village, PDX service delivery area will include all or part of 13 Portland neighborhoods, and its working boundaries will be Powell Blvd on the south; the Willamette River on the west;   I-84/Banfield or Halsey (east of I-205) on the north; and 122nd on the east (except between Stark and Division where the boundary extends out to 130th to include all of the Mill Park neighborhood).

The Village planning group hopes to file for 501c3 status by Fall 2013 and launch the Village by the Fall of 2014. Their fiscal sponsor for this project is a local nonprofit organization Health Advocacy Solutions, who will be assisting them with grant applications and processing their tax-deductible donations until they get their own 501c3.

Eastside Village is also enthusiastically supported by the leadership of AARP Oregon, who understand “The development of ‘a supportive, interdependent community in which older adults are able to live at home safely, affordably, happily and healthily for as long as they choose’ is essential for Portland’s aging population and AARP is proud to be a supporter of the village development efforts in Portland neighborhoods.”

One of the key steps to Village formation is to survey potential members and volunteers living throughout the Village’s service area in order to learn (1) what aging-in-place programs & services they would want from the Village; (2) what programs & services they are currently receiving; (3) what they are paying for services they currently receive; (4) what they would be willing to volunteer their help with.

Village programs & services committee is designing a comprehensive needs assessment survey (both print and online forms) to collect this information and plans to devote the month of May 2013 to surveying (launching on 5/1).

Check out their website, www.eastsidevillage.org, and get involved and attend a “Village 101” informational presentation.

• Thursday, January 17, Wednesday, January 30, Wednesday, February 13 and Monday, March 11 at 7 pm each night: Southeast Uplift Fireside Room, 3534 SE Main St.

Sunday, February 3 and Sunday, February 24 at 2 pm: Belmont Library Community Room, 1038 SE César E. Chávez

Space is limited, so RSVP to info@villagepdx.org or call 503.489.8496 to reserve a place.

The Eastside Village planning group meets every 3-4 weeks and is open to anyone who wants to help create Eastside Village, PDX.

 

To get involved, email Chana Andler, Coordinating Team Chair, at info@villagepdx.org.