On June 22, 2012 there was a meeting in the Boise City Mayor’s Office attended by a number of people concerned about creating a system to help older members of our city safely stay and age in their homes for the rest of their lives. This system is referred to as a Village Concept.
Why would “Villages” be good for Boise? According to a 2011 Brookings Institute study, the Boise/Nampa area was fourth among U.S. metro areas for the growth — 46 percent — of its 65-and-older population from 2000 to 2010. The region’s 55 to 64 age group was ranked No. 3, with a staggering 92 percent increase over that decade.
Villages are membership-driven, grass roots efforts to address current and future challenges facing older adults who wish to stay in their homes for the rest of their lives. A goal is to make it easy and affordable for members to make one phone call to a centralized source to get whatever service or assistance they might need. The Village will assist residents retain their independence and remain actively engaged in our community. Services that are frequently provided break down into to four areas.
(1) Manage your household.
(2) Staying active and healthy.
(3) Get a ride.
(4) Community Building and volunteer opportunities.
How will this Village concept work?
• Services are supported through membership fees and volunteers
• Additional funding is expected from contributions and grants
• Staff take requests by phone/email and arrange service delivery
• A board of local residents oversees the operations
• Some services are provided for free and other services provided by vetted third-party vendors
What is the next step? The first step is to identify the services desired by the residents in a particular neighborhood. The North End Neighborhood Association (NENA) agreed to help with this project. A survey will be provided to approximately 5,000 NENA residents this summer. Once a model is developed for a first neighborhood, then it is assumed that model can be extended and modified to fit other areas of the city.
 In attendance at the June 22, 2012 meeting were: Theresa McLeod, Mayor’s Office; Jim Birdsall, City of Boise; Stephanie Bender-Kitz, Melissa Radloff, and Kelle Sweeney, Friends in Action; Lynsey Winters Juel, Mountain States Group; Sarah Scott, the Idaho Council of Governments serving SW Idaho, Area Agency on Aging; Debbie Hansen, Castle Rock Services; Kristen Tracy, Foster Grandparent and Senior Companion Programs of the Treasure Valley; Troy Rohn, the North End Neighborhood Association Board Member and BSU Professor of Biological Sciences; and Susan Graham, Attorney.
 Idaho Statesman, page 1, June 19, 2012.