The Model

The model

Connecting generations to address social needs

  An innovative model

A Generations of Hope Community (GHC) is typically a new neighborhood which has been constructed following the template of the GHC Core Model. This model integrates program strategies and principles that enable all residents of the neighborhood to contribute to one another’s welfare.

Older adults provide indispensable support to vulnerable parents, children, and youth who, in turn, become instrumental in promoting the well-being of the elders as they age.

  Core principles

Years of study and experience have led us to recognize some core principles that are essential if a GHC is to become an effective caring neighborhood. The first two are philosophical in nature, the others are basic implementation guidelines.

Each of these principles (see indexes below) articulates a critical difference between conventional practices and what is needed for a GHC to be successful.



Embracing the power of relationships

A core belief underlying Intentional Neighboring is that everyone has the capacity to form caring relationships. Through these relationships, well-being is fostered for people of all ages, even in times of change, crisis, or suffering.

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A child hitches a ride with a disabled veteran "grandparent" at Hope Meadows.

Reframing vulnerability

Where there is Intentional Neighboring, residents who are vulnerable are viewed as friends, neighbors, and family – as caring and contributing community members.

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Older adults are engaged in the commmunity

Older residents are engaged in the community

Older residents are obligated to engage regularly in a variety of supportive activities (mentoring, tutoring, gardening, etc.) while also being a caring friend, neighbor, and surrogate grandparent. Engagement, viewed this way, becomes a way of life and enables older ...

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A key focus on vulnerability

Vulnerable families and vulnerable individuals provide the organizing focus of the community -- its reason for being. This focus provides a source of identity and community cohesion where residents become problem-solvers rather than recipients of services.

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Presence of three or more generations

Neighborhoods are designed to include residents spanning at least three generations. Complex interactions and relationships developing among three or more generations give rise to a more robust culture of Intentional Neighboring.

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Embracing diversity

Diversity is deliberately cultivated. It enhances the quality of Intentional Neighboring, helping to generate creative solutions to complex problems while reducing stigmas, stereotypes, and intolerance.

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Physical design facilitates relationships

The physical design dimensions of a community based on Intentional Neighboring are vital as a context for the formation and development of caring relationships across and within generations, and among a diverse population.

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Transformational leadership

Intentional Neighboring requires transformational leaders – people who empower residents, including those who often are stigmatized because of their challenges, to become active partners in working to accomplish the neighborhood’s mission.

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