For immediate release
Charity Sack, (703) 647-2337
Grassroots Initiative Gets $250,000 Boost
NCB Capital Impact Receives Grant from MetLife Foundation to Launch the Village-to-Village Network,
a program Empowering Older Americans to Age in Their Communities
WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 28, 2010)— Millions of older Americans now have more choice and opportunity for remaining in their homes and staying connected to their communities, as a result of a $250,000 MetLife Foundation grant to NCB Capital Impact to launch the Village to Village Network (“VtV Network”) with its partner Beacon Hill Village. At a time when the 50-plus population is rapidly swelling and retirement savings losses are estimated to exceed $2 trillion, “Villages” have been sprouting up in communities across the country—the creation of the VtV Network will help to strengthen this movement and allow greater numbers of older Americans successfully age in their communities.
In 2001, a group of neighbors in downtown Boston created a grassroots, consumer-driven model to reject what they viewed as an antiquated, traditional social service model. As an alternative, they created a new system where older people posses the power and means to design their own futures and keep control of their own lives. Now, this new approach is sweeping the country, with 48 Villages operational in large metropolitan areas, rural towns, and suburban settings alike. As a result of MetLife Foundation’s grant, this work can be expanded, through the creation of a peer-to-peer network that will help communities establish and manage their own Villages.
Among other things, the VtV Network will:
- Allow Villages to connect to each other and help new Villages get started.
- Create a national online portal for Villages to exchange knowledge and access tools and resources.
- Provide access experts to help communities adopt the Village model, including low-income communities
- Convene a national conference to promote growth of the Village model.
“This program will be a real world, practical application of an aging in community model that can be customized for any community, including those that are underserved,” said Dennis White, president of MetLife Foundation. “The Village to Village Network will help older Americans conduct their lives with maximum independence, dignity, and connection with their communities.”
The economic downturn has catastrophic implications for older Americans. The Urban Institute found that retirement savings losses are currently estimated at $2 trillion. This factor, combined with limited-earnings potential is causing more older Americans to consider using what’s left of their declining home value to cover retirement income needs, including long-term health care.
Villages offer people 50 years and older an affordable option for staying in their own homes and remaining active, independent and civically connected to their communities. The organizations are membership driven, self-governing non-profits run by small staffs and volunteers who coordinate affordable services, including transportation, in-home medical care, home repairs and other day-to-day needs for individuals who wish to stay in their home and community as they age.
“Our hope is that older Americans can choose where they live and make the most of whatever stage of life they are in,” said Terry Simonette, President and CEO of NCB Capital Impact. “The passion, innovation and collaboration of Village organizers, our partner Beacon Hill Village, and the MetLife Foundation make us believe it will happen.”
“The MetLife Foundation's extraordinary vote of confidence in the Village to Village Network could not come at a more auspicious moment,” commented Stephen Roop, Beacon Hill Village President. “It will help make the Network an indispensable support to existing capitalized Villages and other communities in development.”
About NCB Capital Impact
NCB Capital Impact helps people and communities reach their highest potential at every stage of life. As a national, non-profit community development organization, NCB Capital Impact provides financial services and technical assistance to help make high-quality health care, housing, and education more accessible and attainable, and eldercare more dignified and respectful. NCB Capital Impact will use its depth of experience, cooperative approach, and diverse network of alliances and generate critical investments that create a high quality of life for low income people and communities. To learn more, visit www.ncbcapitalimpact.org.
About MetLife Foundation
MetLife Foundation, established in 1976 by MetLife, has been involved in a variety of healthy aging initiatives addressing issues of caregiving, intergenerational activities, mental fitness, health and wellness programs, aging in place initiatives, and civic engagement opportunities. For more than 20 years, the Foundation has supported research on Alzheimer’s disease and provided support for a number of caregiver initiatives, including education and outreach activities, caregiver videos, Alzheimer's education and awareness resources, and resources for the Hispanic community.
About Beacon Hill Village
Beacon Hill Village is a membership organization in the heart of Boston. Created by a group of long-time Beacon Hill residents as an alternative to moving from their homes to retirement or assisted living communities, it was founded in 2001.Beacon Hill Village enables a growing and diverse group of Boston residents to stay in their neighborhoods as they age, by organizing and delivering programs and services that allow them to lead safe, healthy productive lives in their own homes. For more information, visit: www.beaconhillvillage.org.
About the Village to Village Network
The Village to Village Network (VtV) is being created by Villages for Villages. The VtV Network helps communities establish and manage their own “Villages.” The Network is sponsored through a joint partnership between Beacon Hill Village and NCB Capital Impact and was developed in response to requests from Villages nationwide. For more information, visit www.vtvnetwork.org.