Around the country, the nonprofit Village model of neighbors helping neighbors has taken off. At last count, 205 Villages were open, with another 150 in development, in 46 states, all aimed at helping older adults remain in their own homes. But Villages often do not reflect the racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic diversity of their communities or of the nation. This matters, says Molly Singer, executive director of Capitol Hill Village (CHV). “This is a grassroots movement that is meant to serve the entire community.”
As grassroots organizations of older adults, The Villages are based on the idea of neighbors helping neighbors. But having been around for 15 years, the national Village movement faces a new challenge. These communities are wrestling with the limits of neighborly help when it comes to members’ increasing physical challenges or cognitive loss.