The Village Movement

By:  John Milford   |  Posted: July 31, 2013   |  Updated: April 17, 2023


The Village Movement: Nationwide, Grass-roots

The San Francisco Village is one of the local Village organizations cropping up nationwide – a non-profit network of San Franciscans over 60, a lively, diverse group committed to helping each other when there’s a need.

“We’re advocates for aging in the best, most vibrant way possible, our lives growing, not shrinking. Yet we’re realistic about the transitions that come with getting older.

We help our members prepare for and navigate these transitions by offering friendship, expert guidance, services and – who can live without it? – fun.”


People want to stay at home

When asked, 80 to 90 percent of older people say they want to remain in their own homes as long as possible.

But an older person who can no longer drive may become isolated, lonely and at risk of malnutrition if there is no person or community service to shop for her and take her places. Even stairs are a major obstacle.


Helping each other

The Village arranges for volunteer or vendor services, and ongoing connection to friends in the neighborhood.

Long Term care insurance can help pay for help at home or nursing care.

Over ten years ago, neighbors in Boston’s Beacon Hill neighborhood met together to discuss aging in place. Realizing that, in general, the indigent would be taken care of by government subsidy and that the wealthy can provide for themselves, they were concerned about their middle class futures, and wanted to age in their own homes.

Hence, they formed the prototype of what is now over 95 villages with 120 more in formation.


The back story

But before there was a SF village, one clever woman who lived alone in a house – up 65 stairs from the street – would get help with minor maintenance (loose hinge, light bulb replacement, and the like) by ordering out for fast food delivery, and when the younger person arrived with her order, she would greet them with a screwdriver or a light bulb in her hand and ask for assistance.

She said it always worked.


Learn more

San Francisco Village

The Village to Village Network






*Disclosure: The research and opinions in this article are those of the author, and may or may not reflect the official views of Tech-enhanced Life.

If you use the links on this website when you buy products we write about, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases as an Amazon Associate or other affiliate program participant. This does not affect the price you pay. We use the (modest) income to help fund our research.

In some cases, when we evaluate products and services, we ask the vendor to loan us the products we review (so we don’t need to buy them). Beyond the above, Tech-enhanced Life has no financial interest in any products or services discussed here, and this article is not sponsored by the vendor or any third party. See How we Fund our Work.