‘Good Neighbors’ Aims to Serve Older Community Members

‘Good Neighbors’ Aims to Serve Older Community Members
(Photo by Jason Bisnoff)
Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church will open its doors to a new community group that aims to bolster the local senior population. (Photo by Jason Bisnoff)

In the hopes of finding out what local seniors’ needs are, Good Neighbors, a soon-to-be-launched organization for older residents of Fort Greene and Clinton Hill, will hold a pre-launch community meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 24.

Good Neighbors, modeled after similar programs such as Beacon Hill Village in Boston and Village to Village Network, which operates senior citizen villages in the U.S. and Canada, will offer services to help seniors enjoy the neighborhood to the fullest. The organization, also colloquially referred to as “The Geezer Project,” is a project started by the Fort Greene Park Conservancy in 2011 that aims to offer affordable services to senior residents who do not qualify for state-funded elderly care but cannot afford high-end senior care, said founder Beverly Emmons. The purpose of the meeting, she said, is to introduce Good Neighbors to the larger community and to give local seniors a chance to voice suggestions.

“This is about a community and what people think they need; complaints, all of it. I want us to be open to all of it,” Emmons said.

As she has designed it, Emmons said, Good Neighbors will be a one-stop shop for practical needs: Lists of preferred professionals, exercise groups and even a “Rent-a-Granny” service, in which members can provide childcare.

“We’re going to be an organization that does things,” Emmons said. “We’re also going to cook up gatherings, like if people want to go to shows or to museums.”

Emmons hopes that the pre-launch meeting will serve as a space to vet initial ideas about the communities needs and to hear about new ones.

“People should come out and investigate,” said Lucia McCreery, an older resident in support of Good Neighbors. “If [Good Neighbors] got started here, I think [residents] would find it very central to their interests.”

Good Neighbors’ pre-launch meeting will take place at Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church on 85 South Oxford Street at 7 p.m. on Sept. 24.

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