Westchester Playa Village is one of 12 grassroots “Villages” across the U.S. that have been awarded $54,000 by the Village to Village Network to support the creation of a sustainable business and organizational infrastructure for their organizations.

The Westchester Playa organization received a total of $5,000 in funding. Westchester Playa Village is a volunteer-based, member-based, nonprofit organization that aims to address the immediate demand among baby boomers and the elderly to remain living in their own homes,

In May, the MetLife Foundation awarded $350,000 to NCB Capital Impact to support the expansion of the Village to Village Network with its partner Beacon Hill Village. The $54,000 in Business/Operation Sustainability Grants stems from this overall expansion initiative, according to the network.

“When you think about the fact that by 2032, there will be more people over 65 than people under 15, we have no time to lose in getting sustainable Villages in place,” said Candace Baldwin, co-director of the Village to Village Network.

Villages are described as self-governing, membership driven, nonprofit organizations run by small staffs and volunteers working together to build welcoming communities, provide social support, and coordinate affordable services, including transportation, in-home medical care, home repairs and other day-to-day needs for elderly people wishing to remain in their homes.

“With the U.S. population age 65 and over expected to double in size within the next 25 years, it is even more critical to establish sustainable practices that allow older Americans to remain in their own homes and engaged with their communities as they age,” said Dennis White, MetLife Foundation president and CEO. “The growing ‘Village’ model is achieving this in a sustainable way as it helps people help themselves.”

According to the Village network, the 12 selected Villages will use their grant funds to develop sound business solutions and innovative approaches to sustainability, membership retention and strategic partnership strategies.

There are currently about 65 operating Villages across the nation and over 115 communities that are in some stage of developing a Village. Currently, 178 organizations are members of the Village to Village Network.

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