It Takes A Village


MORRO BAY — Perhaps you’ve heard the term it takes a village, well, taking that to heart, the organization SLO Village has stepped up to the plate to help provide services for seniors.

“This is not The Villages retirement community,” explained Sally Kruger, board member, “and it isn’t just for San Luis Obispo.”

Kruger was attending Homeshare SLO’s recent “Get to Know” event in Morro Bay and was asked to explain the offerings of this organization.

SLO Village is a community-based membership organization focused on empowering older adults to live happily, healthfully, and successfully in their own homes as they age. SLO Village provides easy access to a screened network of volunteers and local businesses, as well as organizing social events for the members.

“We are a local non-profit 501(c)(3) organization” explained Dave Kuykendall, President of the Board of Directors, “and a member of the Village to Village Network, representing 350 Villages nationwide.” The Village Movement is a grassroots concept that is a new retirement model designed to encourage, protect, and enable at-home independence for seniors.

A “village” is a group of people in a geographic area who come together to figure out and develop the resources they will need to age comfortably in their own homes. Like Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities (NORCs), villages embrace the strategy of bringing services to people rather than moving people to services.

The first village, Beacon Hill Village in Boston began a decade ago when 12 older adults joined forces to create a way for them to “age at home” and remain independent as long as possible. There are now over 190 villages nationwide with over 185 more in development. There are over 55 villages in California.

Utilizing volunteers, transportation, home repairs, technology help, in-home services and courtesy calls are offered. Through vetted businesses, the organization provides access to plumbers, painters, handymen, home health care, housekeeping and more. Other services may be offered, depending upon both partnerships and the skill set of the volunteers.

SLO Village Volunteers choose their assignments from an active list of service requests from members. They select the request that matches their interest and their schedule. They can volunteer as much or as little as they would like. SLO Village volunteers are fully vetted with a complete background check, driving record check and are covered by insurance.

Currently, SLO Village serves members in Arroyo Grande, Avila Beach, Grover Beach, Los Osos, Morro Bay, Nipomo, Oceano, Pismo Beach, San Luis Obispo and Shell Beach. Expansion to other areas is dependent upon access to a suitable base of volunteers.

The membership fees for SLO Village are $500 a year for a single person, $750 for a household (two people at the same location). There is no additional cost for volunteer services. Vetted business services are generally provided at a discounted rate.

Associate Members are social and financial supporters of SLO Village. They can participate in all the SLO Village events and have access to vetted businesses, but do not receive Village services. Associate members pay a reduced annual fee that may be tax deductible.

SLO Village was honored as the “Senior Citizen Program of the Year” by Area Agency on Aging on May 21, 2018.

“Our members are people who want to stay in their homes but need some level of support,” said Kuykendall, “We help them become connected to the community and less isolated.”

To contact SLO Village call 805-242-6440 or email [email protected] Also check their website at www.slovillage.org.


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