This year, Age-In-Place® celebrates 20 years of service to older adults in Washington, DC. As part of our 20th anniversary, we are sharing past stories and photos. This three-part blog series is our way of saying thank you to all of the volunteers and staff that have worked alongside Age-In-Place®, as well as the older adults who have welcomed us into their homes. Below, we continue our series with the experiences of Age-In-Place® staff and former board members.
Seabury’s Age-In-Place® program has come a long way since its founding in 1995. Age-In-Place® was initially a service of Christian Communities Group Homes (CCGH.) CCGH provided 20 vulnerable seniors with safe, secure, and permanent housing in three homes in Northeast Washington. But its service soon expanded. Mary Ann Welter, former CCGH Board Chair, retells the initial idea behind the creation of Age-In-Place®:
We held a focus group with seniors in the community. Most expressed strong desires to age in place, remaining in their own homes or apartments as long as possible. The greatest impediment these seniors encountered in their … experience was being able to keep up their homes. This surpassed concerns regarding health and mobility … Our discussions led us to think of widening our mission. Our church and community connections enabled us to begin to build the kind of volunteer corps that could serve the neighborhood.
In the years that followed, CCGH grew the Age-In-Place services and recruited volunteers from across the Washington area. In 2000, CCGH joined Seabury Resources for Aging as a subsidiary and in 2013 merged with Seabury to become Home First Residences. Each year the program has expanded to connect more volunteers with older adults in need. Today, the program serves 140 seniors annually in DC’s Wards 4, 5, and 6. Reflecting on the program’s accomplishments to date, Elizabeth Fox, CCGH founder, remarked, “[When we began] we felt our connections and experience would help us launch a dependable volunteer program. It has been incredibly rewarding to watch this idea grow into a critical service that benefits hundreds of people today.”
Dylan Mulvey is a Volunteer Coordinator for Seabury’s Home First Residences and Age-In-Place® program. To learn more about volunteering with Seabury’s Age-In-Place®, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 202-635-9384. See the entire Age-In-Place® team and learn more about their work on Seabury’s website.