Generations of Hope continues to see an expansion in the number of organizations that want to create a new community serving seniors and a vulnerable population. In addition to the original idea of a community helping foster/adoptive children grow up, we are helping grow communities with the same philosophy serving five other populations (older youth aging out of foster care, older youth with behavioral and developmental disabilities, older youth challenged by autism, wounded warriors and their families, former foster care women with children). In 2017, we will see this list grow! As you know, for each population we have to toggle the whole system. We want to make sure we have all the programmatic training and operations just right as the residents move into and become the organic part a model, caring community.
Generations of Hope – New Board of Directors
Would you like to be on the Board of Directors of Generations of Hope? We are in the process of strengthening the Board and bringing it back to a total of nine members. Diversity is the key word! I would like to have at least one site director, one older foster youth ( the owner and editor of www.FosterFocusMag.com is helping me with this) a board spectrum quality of life senior thinkers, an education specialist (as we move into communities with schools), a person with a disability, and a person with grant writing wisdom or a person with solid fund raising experience.
Let me know if you have a desire to be famous at another level! Oh yes!, as in the way of the business world these days, virtual board meetings will always be the â€œmodus operandi.â€ I expect there will be three or four meetings a year via Go-To-Meeting or some other conveyance.
Funding Sources (a continuing series of financial resource to create communities)
State and Local Housing Trust Funds
As the trend in Washington will almost certainly be : â€œLet the states do it,â€ we look at State and Local Housing Trust Funds as a funding source for the housing component of an intentional community. Last year, well over a billion dollars was allocated by 700 Housing Trust Funds in the U.S. Almost every state and many localities have a Housing Trust Fund that is used to provide affordable housing for its lower income citizens. Each State Trust fund follows its own state laws. Most have a governance body of citizens picked by the Governor and/or the Legislators. Many are staffed by Housing Authorities, Community Development agencies or both. When looking at this funding option (of course their own rules are important) look at the members of the decision making body, understand their geography and interests. Housing Trust funds finance new construction, acquisition, or rehabilitation activities. Many fund a whole array of housing programs. As you can imagine this funding source is highly competitive. Some experts believe that there will be an effort to block grant several HUD programs to the states and probably some to the Housing Trust Fund.
There is a National Housing Trust Fund however, it remains relatively small. If you navigate the rules of your states Housing Trust Fund, don’t expect an outright grant. Many states use their money to leverage other public and private dollars. (that varies state by state) You can combine state housing Trust Funds with local county or regional areas that have Trust Funds. Only 130 counties have Trust funds (look to Washington and Pennsylvania.) Columbus, Ohio/Franklin County and the Seattle area have two of the larger regional housing trust funds.
This source of money represents one of the significant resources for Generations of Hope communities. Expect heavy competition and the necessity of combining with other sources. As each state has designed the specific uses its own fund, there is always a chance for more flexibility in use to help meet your goals. Who knows, maybe sometime in the future there will be an intergenerational affordable housing â€œcarve-out.â€ Let us know if you need a profile and details of what is available for your site.
Recent Contacts and Interests
The majority of all external contacts come from organizations interested in starting a new site. The exact way to get them to take the big leap off into a five year venture remains a mystery. This year, Mark and I will be following up each new contact with a phone call in order to more personalize the approach.
The geography of interest continues to grow. Here are some of the latest parties interested in a new site.
- Jacksonville, North Carolina â€“ foster/adoptive children
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania â€“ youth and older homeless women
- Columbus, Ohio â€“ youth challenged by autism
- Cincinnati, Ohio â€“ foster/adoptive children
- Redford, Michigan – not specified
Generations of Hope Team to Present â€œExpanding the Service Modelâ€ to Generations United 19th International Conference.
Milwaukee will be the location of the 19th Global Intergenerational Conference June 13-16, 2017. The hosts are St Ann Center for Intergenerational Care and Generations United.
A Generations of Hope Team will present our unique story. The good news is by June, the ice on the Lake is usually un-frozen. Milwaukee is a fun town with lots of German and Eastern European history. And of course you will learn and thing or two about intergenerational programs and share some of you own experiences. By June-if your planning to use Federal resources, you should be learning about the Federal cutbacks and programs shifts and Generations United’s strategy for mitigating those reductions. From the St. Ann’s website,, â€œ….we are positive this will be a phenomenal and educational event. Thank you for strengthening our communities through your commitment to intergenerational solutions and involvement with this conference.â€
Go to https://guconference.org/ to register. Register by January 31st for the least expensive rate.
Generations of Hope Inspired Communities In the News
Genesis -Washington D.C.
The Washington Post’s Christmas Days edition carried an in-depth about the Genesis site and its residents.
New Life Village â€“ Tampa, Florida
From New Life Village comes word of expanding the site for foster and adoptive children by remodeling 20 new apartments for more foster families and seniors: http://newlifevillage.org/new-life-village-construction/
Bridge Meadows â€“ Portland, Oregon
Further back in the archives there is a PBS (Judy Woodruff) story about Bridge Meadows. While over two years old, it is a good way to spend 6 minutes. (http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/foster-families-share-support-with-elders-oregon-housing-community/)
If you have local story please share so we can direct others to a TV spot or news article.
This month I journeyed to Columbus, Ohio to work with the Board of Autism Living a family-based organization that have been working for the last three years to create a large community with intentional housing for people challenged by autism and other disabilities. In developing an amazing catalog of relevant programs, housing, other services and autism research, they came across the Generations of Hope website. At Thanksgiving, I sat down with some of the group and introduced them to the idea of intergenerational communities. On this return trip, we spent a day and half seeing if our two ideas were compatible. Their concept plan is to create a community 1,000 to 1,500 residents. The Generations of Hope’s intergenerational concept is designed to make the lives of older youth with autism and other disabilities and seniors more attractive and purposeful. While more complicated than planning for 120-150 residents, the idea could become another type of intentional community for the 21st century. As you can imagine, there is a lot of work to be done before the first shovel of dirt is turned! Next tasks for the group are hiring a start up executive director and building the Ohio network for fund raising.