Who is Community Village Lawrence?
In 2012, local Lawrence organizations recognized the strong desire of area seniors to be able to live in their homes as long as possible. Community Village Lawrence is the solution that was born from ideas of Lawrence residents and collaboration with organizations such as the Lawrence Douglas County Advocacy Council on Aging. Community Village Lawrence is made possible by a committed group of individuals; we are a totally volunteer-run organization.
What is a Village?
The Village movement began in 1999 when a group of neighbors in Boston decided they wanted to live in their own homes as they aged. Everyone had the same problem: they wanted to age in their own homes and neighborhoods but were concerned that they didn’t have the support to do so. They developed an organization where the members decide what they need and want in their own homes. With a network of vetted service providers, volunteers, and members, residents are able to find trusted and discounted professional services, volunteer services, and desired social and educational interactions.
This is the basis for the Village model, a self-sustaining, member-driven network that allows seniors to age in their homes while promoting community growth and volunteerism.
How does the volunteer network function?
The volunteer network of a Village is unique. Volunteer opportunities are scheduled according to members’ needs. When members request a service, we match a volunteer according to skill, location and availability and arrange for the service to be completed. Volunteers serve members directly, creating a neighbor-to- neighbor service.
Who is a member?
Village members can be any age, but members are often residents 55 or older who wish to remain in their homes for as long as possible. Members are people who wish to stay active and connected to their community, and who might need help with certain day-to- day tasks and those little things that need doing around the house, such as changing a light bulb or prepping the garden beds for spring. Although not a requirement, in many cases members receiving services also act as volunteers to provide neighbor-to- neighbor support.
Who is a volunteer?
Volunteers are residents of all ages across the community who wish to share their skills, talents and time to help Community Village Lawrence members with light home maintenance, yard work, transportation, technology assistance, and other tasks. Volunteers are often also members. Volunteers believe in enriching the lives of the entire community. Volunteers come from all walks of life and may or may not have experience working with seniors. Volunteers will be required to follow rules of confidentiality and additional policies and procedures set forth by Community Village Lawrence.
How long have you been serving members?
Over the last two years, CVL launched sample services to members. This includes our Telephone Reassurance Program, free to everyone in the community, as well as a Transportation program that provided members with rides to places like the doctor, dentist, and grocery store.
In January of 2016, CVL proudly launched full services and began accepting paid memberships.
What is the membership fee and what does it include?
Fees for a household are $30 per month – “A dollar a day.” This fee covers all members of the household for all volunteer services, referrals to professional service providers, and CVL social activities. Members can request up to six volunteer services per month, not including Telephone Reassurance. If a multi-person household anticipates requiring more than six services per month, an additional membership may be purchased.
Where does the money go?
Membership dues help CVL offset expenses such as office space, office supplies, event fees, subsidized AmeriCorps volunteer living stipends, background checks, computer software, Village-to- Village Network membership, mailings, printing, paper, and phone bills. All board members and committee members are unpaid, 100% volunteer positions. The membership dues are a small piece to the sustainability of CVL. Most of the operating costs are acquired through grants, sponsorships and donations.
What about residents who cannot afford this fee?
Community Village Lawrence is committed to making membership possible for any Lawrence resident in need of services, regardless of income. CVL has received some private funding to offset membership costs for low-income members. Residents are encouraged to express their need for a scholarship at the time of application. Depending on the availability of funds, CVL staff will determine what the member will pay, based on a sliding scale. If funds are unavailable at the time of application, members will be placed a waiting list and will receive their scholarship as soon as the needed funds are available.