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". We also developed an attractive, user-friendly website to communicate with our members.
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.
We began by offering:
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.
Member 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.
As our membership has gradually grown, we have expanded our projects and our website to also include:
Broadcast Bulletin Board - A page on our website where members can communicate with each other about anything they wish to sell, give-away, obtain, or if they would like to share an activity with another member.
Senior Discounts - Information obtained by members about businesses in the community that have special rates for seniors.
Buddy Check-In - We are helping our members find other members who would like to check-in with each other on a regular basis, arranging a plan that is mutually convenient for group members.
Housing - We are reaching out to our members to communicate with each other if they need to find housing, and if they own housing that is available for others to rent or buy.
We are a completely volunteer, member-driven organization. As of December, 2019 we have over 650 members. All activities and programs are initiated by members and we have an ever-changing, wide array of programming. We currently have over 30 different activities each month. We also 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.