by Barbara Cline
Do you know your neighbors? Or are you new to the area or have such a busy schedule that you have little time to meet anyone? One Forest Hills high-rise has found a way to help its residents make connections.
The Van Ness Neighbors (VNN) network was created in 1993 to break through the isolation of high-rise living and provide a support team and safety net for all residents at Van Ness North, at 3001 Veazey Terrace, a cooperative of 466 units.
The VNN serves its high-risers by using a system of floor coordinators who match particular needs for assistance with neighbors who can help.
The VNN performs a variety of services including:
• Pick-up and delivery of groceries and medicine
• Escorts to medical appointments
• Collecting mail or watering plants while owner is absent
• Friendly visiting and telephone check-ups
• Electronic/digital help for computer, telephone, camera or TV
The VNN also hosts numerous events to help neighbors meet each other, including book groups, film forums, lectures, travelogues and workshops, exercise classes, local trips, a high-rise unit tour and a resident art show.
Are you interested in learning more or joining a neighbor network?
The VNN serves only Van Ness North, but older residents of other high-rises may join a neighbor network through the Northwest Neighbors Village, or NNV.
NNV trains and supports a volunteer network that helps members of the Forest Hills community remain safely and comfortably in their own homes as they age. It also serves the neighborhoods of Chevy Chase DC, Tenleytown, American University Park and North Cleveland Park.
Northwest Neighbors Village offers similar services to the Van Ness Neighbors, with a wide variety of monthly social events, including luncheons, seminars, dinners and trips.
NNV already includes a number of high-rise members, and it plans to expand its high-rise community with an outreach campaign this fall.
For additional information or questions about membership, contact Marianna Blagburn, executive director, Northwest Neighbors Village, at 202-237-1895 or firstname.lastname@example.org.