German Village Connections
Seed money brings program closer to goal
The Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging has contributed $19,000 in seed money toward the foundation of German Village Connections.
Ed Elberfeld, president of the local aging-in-place program, which is still in its developmental stages, said the windfall represents about 20 percent of what the organization needs to get on solid financial footing.
He said the money "gives us a good kick start."
"At this point I believe the pace is accelerating, and when people give you money they expect you to get going," he said.
Cindy Farson, executive director of the Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging, an eight-county organization dedicated to senior services, said German Village Connections would help fill a need in the community.
"The demographics that indicate a huge shift to an older population hopefully will lead to community members taking more responsibility for one another," she said.
The idea of establishing a concierge service for seniors started more than two years in the German Village Society's long-range planning committee.
In that time, the committee has interviewed other successful senior villages across the country.
The German Village Society also agreed to be the fiscal officer for connections until the organization achieved non-profit status.
In other news, Connections recently formed a 15-member board of directors, whose members represent a diversity of backgrounds.
Elberfeld said there are several more steps involved in getting the organization off of the ground, such as finding a permanent home and additional revenue streams, and establishing membership fees.
"We definitely need to define the scope and sequence of our services," he said. "That's a big issue.
"One of the big cost savings of an organization like this is we rely, to a part, on volunteer services," Elberfeld said, but also, we'll be becoming an agency for vetted paid services."
And the program won't be limited to German Village.
Services will be made available to residents of Schumacher Place, Merion Village, the Brewery District and the near downtown area, Elberfeld said.