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California State University, Long Beach

Archstone Foundation Award to Research and Design A “Hub & Spoke” Aging-In-Place Village in Downtown Long Beach

On January 2, 2013 California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) and the Center for Successful Aging in the College of Health and Human Services received a one- year, $96,847, grant from the Archstone Foundation to fund a study, “Laying the Foundation for a Long Beach Village of Older Adults:  Community Assessment & Planning”.  This grant is based on the Beacon Hill Village model designed to assist older adults to age with dignity in their community.  The Archstone Foundation is committed to projects that support quality of life for older adults.

This initial investment by the Archstone Foundation will allow the Co-Project Directors, Drs. Gail Farmer and Barbara White and Theodora Papachristou, MPH to conduct a needs assessment and feasibility study for a Downtown Long Beach Older Adult Village that will identify the kinds of services and programs the community of adults and service providers perceive to facilitate physical well-being, psychological health, and social support for aging-in-place.  It will also provide counsel to village management structure and the formation of a non-profit 501(c)3 status for Village sustainability. 

About the Study

This partnership will combine the knowledge and wisdom of community members with a university that has expertise in health and social services, experiential education, and lifelong learning.  CSULB collaborative partners will include the programs of Gerontology and Nutrition & Dietetics; the Schools of Nursing and Social Work; and the Departments of Kinesiology, Physical Therapy, Recreation and Leisure Studies, Criminal Justice, Health Science, and Health Care Administration, as well as University Student Organizations.  Community collaborative partners will include, among others, Long Beach Senior Center, Families in Good Health, United Cambodian Community, Centro CHA, Antioch Church, Guam Communications Network, The Center, RSVP, Long Beach Time Exchange, and Park Bixby, Inc./Park Pacific Tower.

The proposed “Village” will be bounded by the 710 Freeway, Orange Avenue, Anaheim Street, and the oceanfront.  The geographic area reflects the city’s celebrated diversity and will promote the inclusion of populations such as African American, Cambodian, Caucasian, Latino, Pacific Islander, LGBTQ, and various income levels

About the Village Concept

The Village concept is a visionary solution to assist us to stay in our own homes and neighborhoods with good quality of life as we age.  Villages are membership driven, grassroots organizations based on the needs of a community. A village coordinates and delivers a variety of services and programs to support health and wellness such as home repair, safety and transportation needs; and social and educational activities that make life meaningful for individuals and family caregivers and the community at large. 

 First conceptualized in 2002, the Beacon Hill Village model is now being replicated in more than 85 locations throughout the United States, with an additional 110 Villages in development in the US and globally.

       --- By Gail Farmer, Theodora Papachristou, and Barbara White