New Yakima, Selah non-profit aims to help seniors feel connected to the community
By:Angela Kerndl Posted: Aug 14, 2019
The Yakima and Selah Neighbors' Network is a new non-profit focused on helping seniors in Yakima and Selah feel connected to the community.
According to Chrissy Schott, the organization's program manager, the volunteer-based membership organization serves as a support system for older people in the community and helps them stay independent. Membership includes access to resources, such as transportation, grocery trips and light housekeeping.
She said, "it empowers seniors to stay at home as long as possible, which is where most of us want to be as we age."
The organization welcomes anyone 50 years and older to join as a member. Schott said they hope the organization can be intergenerational, and include a wide age range of volunteers as the organization continues to grow. The group currently has 44 members and over 30 volunteers.
"It's really just another piece of the puzzle or tool in your toolkit as you age to remain independent as long as you can at home," said Schott.
Schott said the organization not only works to help keep older adults living in their homes longer, but also serves as a social support network. The group has regular events and meetups to keep its members feeling engaged.
The group will meet this weekend at the Seasons Performance Hall in downtown Yakima on Saturday to celebrate its members and volunteers, and to create interest groups within the network that will promote social engagement.
Schott said the idea for the non-profit sparked after a group of board members went to a conference in Seattle about three years ago on the subject. They brought what they learned and officially launched the Yakima and Selah Neighbors' Network in April, according to Schott.
The Yakima and Selah Neighbors' Network is modeled on Beacon Hill Village, a member-based nonprofit that started 17 years ago in Boston. The goal of the Village was to help residents age in place, in the homes and community they loved, by fostering both independence and interdependence.
The membership costs $300 for a single person, and $400 for a two-person household. For more information on how to join or to make donations, call 509- 853-1917 or visit their website.