The Providence Village
The Providence Village by Longevity Explorers: Recent @ Providence
Member Pat Mattingly provided an update on the Providence Village, begun about two years ago. It is one of over 250 villages in the US that are part of a Village-to-Village network. The Village’s purpose is to organize neighbors to help neighbors and provide a “community of mutual support.” A non-profit organization, the Village currently has 110-115 members and 80 volunteers.
Anyone, any where, of any age, can be a member of Providence Village. Those services that involve a volunteer’s going to one’s home, such as providing transportation or household help, are restricted to members living in a defined portion of Providence and Pawtucket. The Village also maintains an expanding list of vetted non-volunteer services, like roofing companies or contractors.
The services offered continue to evolve and are intended to enable members to grow older in their own community—from providing transportation and handling errands to the recent additions of medicare counseling to identify the best plan for your needs and help for arranging snow removal. The Village also supports about half a dozen social events a month in which 60 to 70% of the members participate.
Rather than continue to expand the geographical area in which members may receive all of the volunteer-provided services, the Village plans to evolve into an umbrella organization to support other community villages as they develop around the state. It is also working on ways to create closer connections within the current greater Providence community. A circle in Pawtucket, for example, meets regularly for pot luck dinners and conversation to get to know one another better.
Since 20% of the members of the Village do not get e-mails, the village has organized a telephone tree. Everyone in the Village was called before a March storm last spring, emphasizing that phones are still important.
Full service membership in the Village costs $40 a month for an individual; $60, for a household. Ten percent of the members are sponsored. An associate membership is $20 a month.
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