A group of about 40 neighbors met in the spring of 2014 and again in the fall of that year, coordinated by Bob Ohlerking and Joyce Jed, to see if people were interested in establishing an organization in Park Slope to help us age in place.
By October, 2015 we had received our 501c3, not-for-profit status, created a board of directors, opened a bank account, joined the Village-to-Village network and had a wonderful "launch party".
While researching the models across the country, we realized that our neighborhood has unique needs while providing more options than many other communities. We decided to form an organization that can begin on a low budget and then can grow and develop as new needs emerge.
Therefore, we created our organization in two phases.
Phase One focused on 4 main areas:
- Social Activities - We have created a wide array of social and cultural activities through which we can expand our networks with others in our community, increasing informal sources of support while having fun together.
- Community Resources - We explore what resources are available to us in our community from agencies such as government, health, aging services, and other organizations, and we share that information with members through our website, newsletters, lectures, and workshops; we also collect News Articles that have interesting information about aging in the community.
- Advocacy - We are becoming advocates for services that are needed but not yet available, or, if available, are not sufficiently accessible.
- Resource Exchange - We are developing a community resource exchange to share information with each other about high quality, reliable, reasonable services in the neighborhood. This information is available to members only.
All members are encouraged to participate in activities and, hopefully, lead and organize activities as well. We encourage informal helping activities whenever possible and appropriate.
Our current membership fee is $30 for an individual, $50 for a household. No one will be turned away due to an inability to pay. Contact the Membership Director if you have questions.
Phase Two (Share and Support) scheduled to begin in Spring, 2018.
In response to member interest, we are now planning a formal system of volunteer members helping other members. In about March, 2018 the organization will expand to include a wider array of services, similar to many of the other villages around the country. We will be offering a limited number of services that we feel will be helpful to our members.
These services will include: escorting members to medical appointments or GNPS events, performing errands and incidental household tasks, making friendly visits and calls, providing temporary plant and pet care, and offering basic tech support.
We continue to welcome input from all members about the direction of the organization, and will change, modify and grow as the needs and interests of members become apparent.