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Mayor calls the Foggy Bottom West End Village one of the city’s ‘most forward-thinking concepts’

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Mayor Vin­cent Gray said a Foggy Bot­tom net­work aim­ing to help seniors age in their homes was attuned to the District’s goals of mak­ing the city more acces­si­ble to elderly citizens.

Gray, who spoke Tues­day at the grand open­ing of the Foggy Bot­tom West End Vil­lage, said the pro­gram matched the city’s col­lab­o­ra­tion with AARP and the World Health Orga­ni­za­tion to bet­ter address elderly needs. The Age-Friendly DC Ini­tia­tive, which launched last year, is part of an inter­na­tional effort to sup­port aging pop­u­la­tions liv­ing in cities.

The local vil­lage – a volunteer-based pro­gram that offers ser­vices like trans­porta­tion to doctor’s appoint­ments, meal deliv­er­ies and tech­no­log­i­cal assis­tance – began this week after two years of plan­ning. The net­work is meant to help elderly peo­ple stay in their homes rather than move to assisted liv­ing facilities.

A big part of being an age-friendly city is ensur­ing that peo­ple don’t have to move out of their own houses,” Gray said. “I think it’s one of the most forward-thinking con­cepts that we’ve had come along for a very long time, and we are com­pletely sup­port­ive of it.”

The pro­gram also orga­nizes events like cock­tail par­ties, bar­be­cues and out­ings in the city. Lucia Pol­lock said she joined the vil­lage to make con­nec­tions in the local community.

I don’t need the ser­vices at this point, but I still enjoy the social aspect” she said.

Foggy Bot­tom res­i­dent Michael Lesparre said he signed up to take advan­tage of the network’s vol­un­teer opportunities.

While I may want to vol­un­teer now, I’m aware that I might be need­ing their ser­vices later” he said.

GW, as part of a ben­e­fits pack­age it offered to Foggy Bot­tom to build a new office com­plex, is giv­ing $100,000 to the vil­lage so it can rent office space. About 30 stu­dents at GW have reached out to volunteer.

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