Early in 2010, a group of Pasadena residents began meeting to explore how they might help each other age in place successfully. They learned about Beacon Hill Village, a pioneer in the national Village movement, and began holding small gatherings in homes to talk about how they could make their lives “the best we can make them.”
Over the next two years the group expanded and gathered more supporters. A founding Board was formed and the Pasadena Village was incorporated as a non-profit organization. A series of lunches was held for friends, relations, and community and business leaders to introduce them to the Village concept. Many responded generously and became Founding Friends of the new Pasadena Village.
After two years of planning and fundraising, in September, 2012, the Pasadena Village was launched. With major support from the Episcopal Communities & Services (ECS), a leading provider of housing and services to older adults, we were able to hire a full-time Executive Director and lease a small office space. Our first recruitment events resulted in a charter membership of 50 people.
It was official – we were open for business. Our member driven programs soon included a men’s group, a book club, monthly potlucks, a hiking group, followed by two walking groups. Members organized visits to art museums, formed “Travel Buddies” to combine metro trips with art and food. It was clear that these Charter members were looking for community more than rides to the doctor.
A member fell and broke her hip, a spouse died, an adult child died, a broken pipe flooded a member’s home. And when these things happened, the Pasadena Village, with its members, volunteers, and staff, responded with compassion and practicality. It became evident that everyone had something to give, and everyone had a time of need. We began to learn how to respond to those needs.
Today we are a group of 140 older adults engaged in life through new friendships, meaningful experiences, involvement in the wider community and in helping one another in a time of need.
Pasadena Village is part of the National Village Movement that promotes the formation of communities of people who pool resources by paying membership dues and volunteering their skills and time to support the Village infrastructure and to assist one another. The village model has now been adopted in 200 different villages currently existing and another 150 in development across the country.
Pasadena Village is also a part of Village Movement California. Working with partners and supporters, (VMC) seeks to revolutionize the experience of aging, firm in the belief that the power of community can create society-wide change in the way we age. VMC is leading the way with the tools, connections and visibility needed so that villages throughout the state can thrive. By joining together, Villages can ensure that all Californians have access to vibrant communities that enhance and expand the ways we can age well. See also Village to Village Network.
Pasadena Village, 236 W. Mountain Street, #104, Pasadena, California 91103
626-765-6037 • firstname.lastname@example.org