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The Village Movement: Suburban, Rural, and Urban

What started as a group of neighbors — formed to help with a variety of tasks from changing a light bulb to driving each other to the grocery store or doctor — has expanded to include home repair referrals, vetted service providers and social events and educational programs. They are known as “Villages.”

There are over 200 Villages operating across the US, Canada, Australia and the Netherlands. 150 more are in development. The national organization, the Village to Village Network, helps communities establish and manage Villages across the country and shares resources and information amongst them.

Suburban Villages:


Ashby Village is part of the National Village Movement, where older adults take charge of our future as we age. The Village Movement gives us the support we need to remain in our own homes as we age. Ashby Village serves Berkeley, Albany, Kensington, El Cerrito, Emeryville, Richmond, and parts of Oakland, California. Recently, it celebrated its 10th Anniversary.

Suburban Villages:


Marin Villages is unique in the Village movement. It is an alliance of local villages in Marin County, California, with one central office. Some call it the “hub and spoke” model.

Marin Villages:


 Marin Villages asked us to join some other volunteers and help create a short video called “The Faces of 90” to honor their members celebrating 90+ birthdays. The Birthday Blow Out party and video helped them raise money to support their programs through the purchase of virtual candles to help light the cakes. Check it out. There are some pretty amazing 90-year-olds!

Rural Villages:


 Community Connections, a Village in rural Plumas County, shares its mission with all the Villages: neighbors helping neighbors. There’s one big difference. In rural Plumas County, help can be miles away. Volunteers with Community Connections provide that help through a unique time banking program. Here, members exchange services with each other and earn time credits. One hour of service earns one-time credit — all services are equal. Money is not exchanged.

The Village to Village Network: Voices from Across the Country

Each year, the Village to Village Network holds a national conference. A few years ago, the Staying Put or Moving On team joined them and shot this film about why they think the Village movement matters.

San Francisco skyline

Urban Villages: Stories in Development  

As altruistic as the mission of the Village Movement is, it is a challenge to maintain. The concept is new. Potential members can be reluctant to pay the dues because they are unsure of the benefits and even those in their 80’s are INRYs — “I’m Not Ready Yet”. But as one ages, it becomes harder to make new friends and connections, especially as the older ones fade away. Villages in urban areas are finding ways to rectify these problems.

Do you have a film, video or story to share? Let us know.