Village Movement and National Network
How did villages begin?
Villages are a grassroots effort aimed at addressing a growing desire to age well and to age in place. The movement began in Boston’s historic Beacon Hill district in 2001, when a group of older residents worked together to find the support they needed to stay in their homes.
They wanted to create easier access to the services they would need as they aged. They hoped to remain a community of neighbors. They also wanted to avoid having to move in with their children or to a care facility.
National help from the Village-to-Village Network
The idea began to take hold. Villages formed, often with members miles apart, because they were able to create “cyber” connections using powerful software programs.
Some years later, Village to Village Network (VtVN) formed to provide organizational and developmental support to established and developing villages. VtVN is providing toolkits, documents, mentoring and other resources to advance our development efforts. Because of this, we have a “template” that we are shaping to the needs of our community. While we are affiliated with a national organization, the structure and offerings of our Village are being decided here. Visit VTVN.
“The idea behind the "village model," as it's called, is to make it possible for seniors to stay in their communities, even their homes, as long as possible.” NBC Nightly News, January 24, 2014
How many villages are there?
Within VTVN, there are currently 230 operating villages and 130 villages, like ours, in development; another 35-40 villages exist that may not have joined the national network. Villages exist in nearly every state of the U.S. and abroad.
Villages are gaining visibility and have been featured on television programs, like 60 Minutes, PBS News, the NBC Nightly News, and in books, such as Atul Gawande’s Being Mortal, and in numerous other publications.
Village Movement California
There are 65 villages in California that have already launched or are in formation -- more villages than any other state. Our Village is a member of the newly formed Village Movement California (VMC). Some California villages have existed for many years with memberships numbering in the hundreds.
The VMC is another source of support for our development needs. We attend meetings and webinars, which enable us to have close contact with a rich assortment of villages. We can call other villages to receive advice or observe their operations. VMC will be providing access to statistics, branding materials, research and more.