WHAT is the Supportive Community Network?
The Supportive Community Network (SCN) is a support system for communities that want to build a Village model to help seniors age in place. We assist communities to develop the skills, systems, services and resources needed to become a self-sustaining “village,” where people come together to provide volunteer services and supports for each other.
WHERE is the Supportive Community Network?
The Supportive Community Network (SCN) has assisted one community to build a village so far. This community is called Northwest Neighbors Connecting and it is based in the five neighborhoods of Northern Park Heights in Baltimore. SCN is also consulting with the residents of the Milbrook Park Apartments in Baltimore County. SCN works with any community where a substantial population of Jewish seniors resides, though SCN encourages and guides communities to build their villages for all residents – not just Jewish residents.
WHO should work with the Supportive Community Network?
The Supportive Community Network (SCN) allows you to improve your community's health and sustainability. SCN can work with neighborhood associations, churches, synagogues, property management companies, retirement clubs, senior centers or any other entities that want to see its members closely connected in service to each other.
WHY should you start a village?
Your community is filled with residents of all ages and abilities. Some are seniors. Some are Baby Boomers trying to ensure a secure future for their senior parents and themselves. Some are young families looking for real ways to engage with their neighbors and possibly help out. The village model is the solution to help all residents support each other.
We know that seniors need rides to the doctor; help taking out their trash; help getting to church or synagogue on the weekend; someone to hang out with and express themselves with. When seniors don’t have these simple needs met, your costs go up in the form of higher turnover, higher healthcare costs, lower enrollment in your programs and much more.
While you care deeply about your community, it is not your organizations' main job to set up mutual volunteer support systems - that takes time and expertise. SCN can help you more quickly make these systems a reality within your existing organization.
WHEN should you start a village?
There's no time like the present. Having a village in your community means transforming the way your community cares for itself. This type of culture change takes time. With the senior population growing in age and numbers, the need for villages is urgent. Within the next few years, all communities will be looking for a solution to help their seniors. Start the organization process now. Your community will be ahead of others and people will have a reason to stay or join.
What will SCN Do For You?
Experienced in many forms of community organizing, SCN can work with you to develop and implement a plan for a mutual support “village” that will meet the needs of your community.
SCN can get in on the ground with you and do the start-up work alongside your staff and community volunteers.
SCN is constantly growing a diverse array of community partners who have agreed to provide resources for village members for free or at a low cost. SCN can provide your village access to those partnerships, and can also work on your behalf to develop new partnerships.
SCN provides training and coaching for community members, in order to prepare them to be volunteer leaders within the village.
SCN can work with your most vulnerable community members to make sure that they too can experience the benefits of the village – so you don’t have to worry about what will happen to those who need more than a typical volunteer can provide.
SCN provides “back office” services that allow your village to function smoothly, including billing systems and a database.
SCN can work with you on an ongoing basis to ensure the continued health of your village.
SCN can provide you access to outside financial resources that support villages.