Reinventing Your Neighborhood: Creating Supportive Communities for All Ages On April 12, 2008

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From Boston to Berkeley, people who are 50 and over are transforming their neighborhoods into the supportive communities they’ve always wanted and now, for a host of reasons, require. Fairfax County and community partners, have taken note and are sponsoring a community forum entitled, Reinventing Your Neighborhood: Creating Supportive Communities for All Ages, on Saturday, April 12, 2008 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Fairfax County Government Center, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, Va.

The free event will explore seven different neighborhood-based service organizations developed by and for people 50+, including the pioneering Beacon Hill Village in Boston. Speakers will describe their organizations’ development, operation, and services.

“Driving the development of these organizations have been people 50+ who want to comfortably ‘age in place’ in their neighborhoods,” said Grace Starbird, director of the Department of Family Services’ Fairfax Area Agency on Aging. “We’ll hear from groups that have made that possible.”

Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerald E. Connolly will welcome participants to the half day program. Virginia Governor Tim Kaine has also been invited to attend.

Representatives from two new organizations in Fairfax County, Mount Vernon At Home and Clifton/Fairfax TIPS (Transition in Place Services), will discuss their development and service plans. Also speaking will be representatives from Capitol Hill Village of Washington, D.C., Community without Walls of Princeton, N.J., Partners in Care, Frederick County, Md. and Co-Housing Collaborative, McLean, Va.

According to event organizers, while no two neighborhood service organizations are alike, most sponsor an information and referral service that links members to a wide range of services including transportation, grocery shopping, handyman services, theater tickets and in-home health care. Some use volunteers and most involve an annual fee.

Event organizers point out that these organizations also build stronger, more engaged communities that work as well for adults with disabilities, multi-tasking moms and teenagers looking for a close to home volunteer experience.

“Few people in Virginia have heard of the grassroots effort to enable us to confidently remain in our multigenerational communities as we grow older,” said TIPS founders Bill Cole.

“This conference helps us take a huge step forward in educating other communities. We expect it will spark interest in establishing many similar organizations,” added Mary-Carroll Potter of Mount Vernon At Home.

The forum is free but reservations are required. To register call 703-324-7746 (TTY 703-449-1186), e-mail [email protected] (with your name, address, phone and e-mail) or register online at

Fairfax County is committed to nondiscrimination on the basis of disability in all county programs, services and activities. Reasonable accommodations will be provided upon request. Call 703-324-7746, TTY 703-449-1186, to request accommodations.

Sponsors of the event include: AARP, Fairfax Area Commission on Aging; Fairfax County’s Department of Family Services’ Fairfax Area Agency on Aging and Disability Services Planning and Development; Fairfax County Department of Community and Recreation Services; Fairfax County Public Library; Fairfax County Long Term Care Coordinating Council; Fairfax County Department of Transportation; Braddock District Council; Guide to Retirement Living/SourceBook; National Aging in Place Council; Manage on My Own; Mount Vernon At Home; and Clifton/Fairfax TIPS.

The April 12 program aligns with the Board of Supervisors’ Fairfax 50+ Action Plan, adopted in October 2007. The plan is dedicated to building “a more aging friendly community.” It can be viewed at

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