Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Generational Blending Benefits All

Bridge Meadows is a new community idea that is taking hold around the country.  They are called multigenerational communities.

A nonprofit, Bridge Meadows is a multi-generation housing community serving Oregon's most vulnerable populations; foster youth, adoptive parents and elders (55+). Their mission is to offer permanency in the lives of foster children by providing adoptive homes, supporting those adoptive parents with resources and guidance and giving elders meaning and purpose in their daily lives.

From Philanthropy Today:  
When Lynda Komanecky learned about a new community in Portland, Ore., specifically designed to house elderly people to help young parents raise foster children, she knew that it was the place for her.

“I had a feeling that I could really make a contribution,” says Ms. Komanecky, 65, who moved to Bridge Meadows from her Illinois home last spring. “I have a lot of love left to give, and that’s what these kids need.”

Bridge Meadows, which opened in 2011, is home to three generations of residents: older people, like Ms. Komanecky, who receive discounted rent in exchange for volunteering 10 hours a week; foster children; and the families who are in the process of adopting them.

Derenda Schubert, Bridge Meadows’ executive director, says that the concept is so effective because it responds to the distinct needs of the residents.

“Our elders feel like they have a purpose, that they’re needed, while the families get supported and the kids get loved and cared for,” she says. “We’ve seen an incredibly positive impact in a very short period of time.”

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