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HomeThe Village Movement

The Villages Movement

In 1999, aging residents of Beacon Hill, MA, gathered to figure out how they could stay in their homes as long as possible, continue to engage in their neighborhood, and get the support they needed as they aged. They envisioned a new model – a Village, rather than be dislocated and "taken care of".

Today, more than 200 villages have launched across the nation with another 150 in development. A Village is an idea whose time has come. Thousands of baby boomers are turning sixty-five every day, and they and the generation before them want to stay active and usually stay put, even as they need more services and support to remain in their own homes.

The demographics data for our region is no different; in 2010, the senior (age 65+) population of Washington, Clackamas, and Multnomah Counties was 190,000. By 2030 that number will be almost 400,000.

Characteristics of a Village

  • Villages build relationships and develop community through social activities including potluck dinners, book clubs, exercise/wellness activities, and educational programs.
  • Villages are "volunteer first" organizations that prefer to use volunteers to deliver services before calling on staff or outside resources.
  • Villages provide "one call does it all" support and problem-solving for their members.
  • Villages strive to use existing services to minimize duplication. They make it their business to know what is already offered in the village boundaries by other nonprofits, senior centers, and government agencies.
  • Villages use these services and then fill the gaps.
  • Volunteers provide much of the transportation, shopping, household chores, gardening, and light home repairs and maintenance that members request.
  • Vendors that are vetted by Village volunteers provide professional services and home repairs.

To find a Village outside the Portland Metro Area, visit The Village to Village Network.