Neighborhood Groups in Southwest Working to Make Village for Older Residents
A neighborhood organization in Southwest is working with the District Office on Aging to establish a senior village that will serve Southwest and Navy Yard.
Senior villages offer services to older area residents including home maintenance, assistance with shopping and medical appointments and social events. There are currently eight senior villages in D.C., including the Capitol Hill Village.
The effort to bring a village to Southwest began in 2013 when the Waterfront Gateway Neighborhood Association and the Southwest Neighborhood Assembly noted the need for more services for seniors in the area. Last October, the SGNA began a partnership with the D.C. Office on Aging to establish the village.
Senior villages are membership-based nonprofit organizations with a goal of making it easier for older residents to live safely in their homes and connect with their neighbors, according to the DCOA website.
Villages typically offer home services such as grocery delivery and maintenance, health a nutritional support services, financial and legal services and social activities, according to Bob Craycraft, the Executive Director of the WGNA.
Craycraft said that the WGNA is currently surveying residents to find out which services are most needed in the Southwest and Navy Yard area.
“We’re trying to gauge the interest in the community to see if we have enough of a membership base to justify the launch of a village,” he said. “We’re trying to determine where people’s needs are and asking what people what is of key interest to them.”
Those who might be interested in a senior village in Southwest can sign up for a listserv by emailing [email protected]. An automated response email links listserv members to a survey where they can express which aspects of the village they are most interested in.
Craycraft added that the WGNA hopes to partner with St. Augustine Episcopal Church at 617 I St. SW to help administer the village, which may base its offices in the church. The church already offers nutritional services for seniors in the area.