The Village Movement in Virginia
You love your home. You love your neighborhood. And your neighbors love you! But as you get older, some things get harder — such as driving, running errands, home maintenance, and making your technology work for you. You think: Maybe it’s time to move to a senior living community… but I’m just not ready yet.
The neighborhood Village movement was founded to help older adults continue aging in place — safely, independently, and with an enhanced quality of life. A Village is a network of neighbors helping neighbors by providing support services, resources, and social and educational programs.
The movement began in 2002, when the Beacon Hill Village was founded in Boston, and today includes more than 300 Villages across the United States. Each Village is an independent, membership-driven nonprofit organization.
How Can I Get Involved in a Neighborhood Village?
There are three ways to participate in your local Village.
- Volunteer! Volunteers are the heart of every Village. You can use your skills and talents to help older neighbors in your community by providing transportation, paying social calls, running errands, assisting with light home repairs/maintenance, fixing technological problems, and more.
- Become an Associate member. Associate members pay an annual fee to participate in Village programs and activities. Services provided by volunteers are not included in this membership.
- Become a Full member. Members pay an annual fee to access all services and programs offered by their local Village. Financial assistance may be available if you can’t afford the full fee.
During COVID-19, neighborhood Villages have stepped up their efforts to serve members while keeping everyone safe. Many are offering online events, grocery pick-up and delivery, daily check-ins and more.
Each Village is an independent, membership-driven nonprofit organization. Use this map to find all the Villages in Virginia communities, whether currently operating or in development. Here is some information on 3 Villages in Northern Virginia.
About At Home in Alexandria
Founded in 2011, At Home in Alexandria is a diverse and welcoming Village nonprofit organization that provides practical assistance and social connections to its more than 210 members. At Home in Alexandria’s service area covers most of the city, from Van Dorn Street to the Potomac River and Cameron Run to Four Mile Run.
At Home in Alexandria’s corps of trained volunteers offer help with a range of tasks and activities. The most frequent requests are light home maintenance; transportation; technical troubleshooting for smartphones, TVs, computers and other devices; referrals to service providers; organizing and decluttering; errand running, and short-term pet care or gardening care when you’re away. Some of the Village’s most popular offerings are its social activities (being held on Zoom for the time being). These include two monthly book clubs, ladies’ and men’s night “in,” armchair travelogues, and discussions of news, politics and health topics.
About Arlington Neighborhood Village
Arlington neighbors banded together to form Arlington Neighborhood Village in 2014. More than 280 volunteers fulfill thousands of requests each year from 300+ members. They help with transportation, shopping assistance, simple home repairs and chores, and technological services. Volunteers are also the backbone of Village operations: They staff the office, manage the financial records, interview prospective members and volunteers, plan educational events, help fundraise, and more!
Volunteers connect with members by phone or in person as appropriate during COVID-19, for socializing and check-in calls. Arlington Neighborhood Village also hosts local social, cultural, health and wellness programs, and provides information on a host of professional and social services. During COVID, members and volunteers join conversations by Zoom to stay in touch and learn about their community from interesting speakers.
Anyone 55 and older who lives in Arlington County is eligible to join Arlington Neighborhood Village. Even if you don’t need many services yet, becoming a member can connect you with a great network of neighbors — and if you suffer a fall or other medical crisis, you’ll have access to the Village’s volunteer help.
About Mount Vernon At Home
Mount Vernon at Home was sparked in 2007, when friends and neighbors gathered to discuss how they could continue living in their homes during their retirement years. Now, 60 volunteers and a dedicated staff serve more than 140 local residents. Mount Vernon At Home membership is open to people living in the Village’s service area, a 14-square-mile section of southeastern Fairfax County.
Members enjoy concierge-style service: Anytime they call the office with a need or a request, staff then connect them with a volunteer or with local programs. Volunteers can provide transportation to medical appointments, the grocery store or other places, or run errands on a member’s behalf. They can set up and trouble-shoot devices such as cell phones, computers and iPads. They can change lightbulbs and smoke detector batteries. They can even check in on your house and water the plants while you’re away. And this is just a sampling of services; if a request can’t be fulfilled by a volunteer, staff can suggest local service providers.
Discover Other Neighborhood Villages in Virginia
Use the Village to Village Network’s map to find your nearest Village. If there’s not one in your area, consider setting up a working group of friends and neighbors to explore creating one. Learn more.
You can also use VirginiaNavigator to find services to help you safely stay in your home and age in place. Search our resource directory for home modifications, in-home assistance, transportation, meal delivery services and more.