In September 2014, a project was launched that aspires to develop virtual villages for seniors in the Bergen-Passaic area. The village concept, for which Village to Village Network (VtVNetwork) provides a blueprint (Village 101 Toolkit) and ongoing support, is a grassroots, not-for-profit, fee-based membership, concierge service to support seniors to age in place — but not alone — as part of an intergenerational virtual village community (www.vtvnetwork.org). Members of the North Jersey Villages' (NJV) steering committee are also members of the VtVNetwork.
The North Jersey Villages Steering Committee is continuing to explore the feasibility of developing villages in this geographic area, identifying the assets and gaps in services and establishing the necessary infrastructure. Potential pilots are towns currently participating in the Age-Friendly Communities initiative with which NJV is partnering.
VillagesNW in Oregon (www.villagesnw.org) is a model of what NJV is striving to become: a hub supporting spoke virtual villages throughout Bergen and Passaic counties. VillagesNW is sustained by a large pool of partners in addition to membership fees, and promotes volunteer time banking (accruing volunteer hours in exchange for services). There is assistance available for those who cannot afford membership cost.
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