A group of about 40 neighbors met in the spring of 2014 and again in the fall of that year, coordinated by Bob Ohlerking and Joyce Jed, to see if people were interested in establishing an organization in Park Slope to help us age in place.
After that a Steering Committee began meeting to figure out what the needs of our community are and how best to support the older residents of Park Slope.
We have received our 501c3, not-for-profit status, have a board of directors, opened a bank account and joined the Village-to-Village network. We had a wonderful "launch party" on October 1, 2015, attended by over 120 neighbors.
While researching the models across the country, we have realized that our neighborhood has unique needs while providing more options than many other communities.
We have also realized that we do not yet know just what services our members will need in the future, but would like to form an organization that can begin on a low budget and then can grow and develop as new needs emerge.
Therefore, we have decided to create our organization in two phases.
Phase One will focus on 4 main areas:
- Social Activities - We are creating a wide array of social and cultural activities through which we can expand our networks with others in our community, increasing informal sources of support while having fun together.
- Community Resources - We are exploring what resources are available to us in our community from agencies such as government, health, aging services, and other organizations, and we share that information with members through our website, newsletters, lectures, and workshops; we are also collecting News Articles that have interesting information about aging in the community.
- Advocacy - We are becoming advocates for services that are needed but not yet available, or, if available, are not sufficiently accessible.
- Resource Exchange - We are developing a community resource exchange to share information with each other about high quality, reliable, reasonable services in the neighborhood. This information will be available to members only.
All members are encouraged to participate in activities and, hopefully, lead and organize activities as well. While we do not have a formal system of volunteers to help members, or for members to help members, we encourage informal helping activities whenever possible and appropriate.
Our current membership fee is $30 for an individual, $50 for a household. No one will be turned away due to an inability to pay. Contact the Membership Director if you have questions.
If the members of GNPS are interested, the organization will expand to include a wider array of services, similar to many of the other villages developing around the country. We will create a more formal volunteer system, reaching out to local volunteer agencies to find more and younger volunteers, as well as using member volunteers to help each other. We will also possibly hire a staff person to coordinate the expanded program.
We welcome input from all members about the direction of the organization, and will change, modify and grow as the needs and interests of members become apparent.