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The effort to provide supportive services to seniors in the Southwest Waterfront and Navy Yard who wish to age in place in their homes is quickly becoming a reality!

Waterfront Village joins senior villages in Capitol Hill, Dupont Circle, Georgetown, Foggy Bottom, and six other District neighborhoods as part of a national network of nearly 200 such community-based organizations of neighbors helping neighbors, supported by a network of local and national vetted vendors and service providers.

“The Village is a dream come true for me,” notes new resident Ann Kurzius, who was recommended to Waterfront Village by her realtor. “Moving from the suburbs into the District was a positive lifestyle change for me that I anticipated for years, but also sort of scary. Thanks to the Village, I had events to go to where I met neighbors and made new friends. It would have taken me years to become so engaged in a new neighborhood—if ever.”

Long-time resident and Board President Barbara Ehrlich joined for a different reason.  “Our house is aging even faster than we are,” she noted. “Our home is one of nearly 200 built in Southwest in the late 1960s and we’re responsible for all maintenance, from yard work to the roof and everything in between. Getting estimates was always a pain, and we never completely understood the warranties. With the home services member benefits, the contractors are already vetted, and the Village can even set up appointments for us and have a volunteer join us to take notes—something we always forget to do. We figure the Village will keep us in this house an extra 10 years.”

Arts lover Jennifer Crier Johnson agrees. “One of the things we love most about living in Southwest is its proximity to the downtown arts community and the Kennedy Center. But, with my mobility problems on the Metro, attendance at some events is becoming ever more limited. With the Village’s Metro meet-ups and transportation options, arts events will be much more accessible.”

Waterfront Village offers several member benefits, including an events calendar which launched in September. Pending donations and membership goals that the organization’s board has set to ensure the Village’s financial solvency, the group hopes to launch a Member Services Center in late 2016 and, by early 2017, home and transportation services.

You can help! Tax-deductible donations can be made at www.dcwaterfrontvillage.org, where you can also provide critical seed money by becoming a member. (Your benefits start immediately but your 12-month membership term only begins when your benefits package is fully activated.) You can also add your name to a growing list of neighbors willing to help as volunteer drivers, friendly companions, and administrative support.

The Village Board of Directors would like to express their thanks to Friends of Southwest DC and The JBG Companies, owners of L’Enfant Plaza, for their underwriting of the majority of the Village’s legal, regulatory, and technology startup costs.

By: Bob Craycraft

Bob Craycraft is a Village volunteer and acts as the organization’s registered agent.  He may be reached at info@dcwaterfrontvillage.org or 202-656-1834.

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