Is the "Village movement" a good fit for Northland?

A meeting scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 3, at the Karl Road branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library is intended to help determine if the aging-in-place organization can find a place in the neighborhood.

Convened by Salem Village resident Charity Eilerman, an older-adults community resource specialist at the Dublin-based health care advocacy organization Syntero Inc., the gathering on potentially forming the Northland Bridge Village will last from 1 to 2:30 p.m.

The Village concept originated in Boston's Beacon Hill neighborhood in 1999. Today, according to the website of the Village to Village Network, more than 200 or the nonprofit, member-based organizations exist in 45 states and the District of Columbia with another 150 in the development stage.

A flier for the Feb. 3 exploratory meeting says the Village movement is spreading nationwide as the population continues to age.

The letter goes on to say, "Neighbors helping neighbors is the basis for these member-based, nonprofit organizations that are proving to keep older adults in their homes longer than those without this type of support."

In addition to the Feb. 3 meeting, a follow-up session is set March 24, Eilerman said.

"We'll discuss using a community survey to gauge the need for and interest in creating a Village in the Northland area," she said. "Questions will be answered about what a Village can bring to a neighborhood. We will also discuss the need for board and advisory board members if we want to move forward. Northland residents of all ages are encouraged to attend."

The Columbus area currently has three organizations in the movement: Village in the Ville in Clintonville, Village Connections in German Village and At Home by High in the Victorian and Italian villages.

Jenny Lin Leal chairwoman of the Northland Alliance, referred to the possibility of the Northland Bridge Village being established as a "great emerging program" for the neighborhood.

For more information, contact Eilerman via email,