Washington, DC, leads the nation in something else awesome – senior (neighborhood) villages. I kept thinking of all the other groups who could benefit from villages…
A few people have been educating me about the Village “Thing.” (It’s not a place, it’s a concept – The Pasadena Village)
- Stuart Butler (@StuartMButler), from The Brookings Institution
- Gail Kohn, Age-Friendly DC (@AgeFriendlyDC) Coordinator
- Molly Singer, Executive Director of Capitol Hill Village (@CapHillVillage) – one of the (or the?) largest, with 435 members
How does a village work?
Members continue to live in their homes. The can get together for parties, picnics, happy hours, and visits to local theaters, music and art venues. Volunteers offer free services that can range from rides to and from medical appointments, prescription pickups, yard clean-ups, and simple handyman repairs, assistance with grocery shopping, changing light bulbs in ceiling fixtures, and reading to the visually impaired. Senior Villages | dcoa
Okay, but, is this just about aging?
The description above sounds a lot like TaskRabbit + a social bond. Aging is not the only cause of a shallow social support system. What about an LGBTQ village? A Latino village?
- There are multiple Villages in DC, and interestingly, there’s no Village in Shaw or Columbia Heights, where many of these other communities are centered. See: Senior Village Boundaries.
- There’s a handy guide to starting a village.
- There’s a Village in Pasadena, where I’m heading to in a little bit.
In Washington’s innovativeness, it might be interesting for people to experience a neighborhood Village before they become seniors.
Here are some links that I’ve put together from materials Molly provided for me.
Comment away on this post.
And PS, I can’t believe I get to live here 🙂 .
Addendum: Dupont Circle Village at Washington, DC’s 2016 17th Street Festival