Westchester Playa Village (WPV) has received a $75,000 grant from the Archstone Foundation to contribute to the development and operational costs associated with the network.

Westchester Playa Village will work to assist residents of Westchester, Playa del Rey and Playa Vista to remain in their homes independently as they age.

To date, there are over 600 Villages worldwide in either the operational or development stage. WPV is currently in the development stage and is scheduled to open its doors at the beginning of next year.

It was originally founded as Westchester Village Network, a nonprofit organization by Pat Brubaker. The mission of volunteer residents of Westchester was to help Westchester and Playa del Rey senior citizens stay in their own homes as they grew older.

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, said president Linda Berri, who was appointed president by the WPV Board of Directors in April.

The Village network will service residents age 55 and older living in the cities of Westchester, Playa del Rey and Playa Vista, with the objective to facilitate the daily lives of senior residents through various services and discounts on anything from grocery shopping and e-mail assistance to health care and transportation assistance.

Additionally, WPV will offer various social activities to encourage community interaction, inter-generational communication, and healthy living while minimizing the effects of social isolation and elder abuse.

A list of strategic partners includes Airport Marina Counseling Service, Culver Palms Meals on Wheels, Loyola Marymount University, Marina Del Rey Hospital, Senior Empowerment Committee of Council District 11, Village to Village Network, Westchester Family YMCA, and Westchester Playa Clergy Association.

Berri has been a Westchester resident since 1970, is a licensed California Nursing Home administrator, has a master’s degree in behavioral science and gerontology from Cal State Dominguez Hills, and has worked with the senior population since the 1960s.

During her career, Berri worked with the Motion Picture & Television Fund as manager of the Community Services Program, Jewish Family Services as a case manager in the Protective Services Program, and at Wise and Healthy Aging as director of the Daily Money Management Program.

She is also a member of the Los Angeles City Council District 11 Senior Committee.

City Councilman Bill Rosendahl said, “I will support the project wholeheartedly for the older adults in Los Angeles who want to remain in their own homes as they age. This is a simple concept of a volunteer-driven nonprofit organization based in local neighborhoods and will reap huge results for the community.”