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Tucson, AZ

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Lifelong housing and accessibility

Description: Like many communities, Tucson has struggled to meet the needs of older adults who want to age in place but lack the resources to stay in their homes. To address this, Tucson created a formalized home sharing program through a new organization, Tucson Home Sharing Inc. The organization has hired staff, formed relationships with county leaders, conducted public meetings, created promotional materials and built an online presence -- all with the goal of connecting older adults with younger roommates. The housemates can help with meal preparation, shopping, transportation, small home repair tasks and pet care. In exchange, they receive decreased or no rent. Organizers hope this decreases social isolation and increases the supply of the affordable housing within the community, enabling older adults to remain in their neighborhoods.

Washington, DC

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Lifelong housing and accessibility

Description: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Iona Senior Services needed to transform its Aging Solo series from in-person classes to Zoom instruction. The popular series provides information, strategies and a supportive community to older adults who don't have a family support network. Iona offered the virtual classes for six weeks and -- to reach a larger audience -- recorded them for future sharing. The new online format allowed Iona to reach individuals who would not have been able to participate in person, and course leaders modified the curriculum to recognize the pandemic's impact on older adults. To expand the initiative's reach, project organizers also created and distributed an electronic discussion guide for use by faith communities, aging-in-place villages and other organizations.

Bowdoinham, ME

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2023

Project Category: Lifelong housing and accessibility

Description: The town will develop a plain language guide promoting the use of Universal Design as an approach to more inclusive, safe and accessible housing for people of all ages and abilities.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Chattanooga, TN

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Digital navigation skills

Description: To help combat social isolation, the City of Chattanooga's Department of Youth and Family Development provided older adults with Chromebooks, mouses and hotspots to allow them to connect to the internet. Additionally, the City offered digital skills classes at several locations to help them use the devices. Project organizers say the COVID-19 pandemic limited opportunities for social interaction for many residents. This project provided vulnerable residents with internet access and know-how, allowing them to build and maintain interpersonal relationships.

Clarksville, TN

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Improved wayfinding

Description: To encourage people to park their vehicles and travel on foot, the City of Clarksville installed signs near underutilized parking lots, which display directions and walking times to destinations around downtown. The hope was that knowing the time commitment for walks would give pedestrians confidence they could manage city distances comfortably. At its Shop Small Saturday event in 2020, the City set up a booth to talk with passersby about the signs. Project organizers reported shoppers were surprised to learn how short walks were from destination to destination. The signage is part of a larger effort to promote active transportation -- such as walking and biking -- in Clarksville.

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