Six organizations and partnerships in the San Antonio Region were each awarded a "JumpStart the Conversation" grant in July 2009.
The winning projects exemplify the use of innovative ideas focused on creating livable communities for all ages and the theme of redesigning communities to fit American Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance and to encourage active use of universal design. This them was focused on keeping older adults in their homes through innovative techniques. Click here to view the jumpstart grants below.
As part of the Aging in Place Initiative, the San Antonio Region was selected by MetLife Foundation, Partners for Livable Communities and the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) to host one of a series of dynamic national workshops highlighting the opportunity to improve livability for persons of all ages. The Jumpstart the Conversation Grantees followed the workshop held on June 11, 2009; titled Redesigning Communities for Aging in Place: Developing a Livable San Antonio Metro Region for All Ages.
Redesigning Communities for Aging in Place gathered key innovators and representatives from across the region to discuss a topic of great importance to San Antonio. Workshop speakers and panelists focused on assets already in place and how they can be improved, particularly health and wellness, social integration, planning and mobility. Attendees learned how to JumpStart the Conversation on aging and apply for a special grant given to unique partnerships taking action on Aging in Place.
The local discussion at the workshop, and continued in the grants, complemented the dynamic national conversation taking place on aging and will highlight the creative work already occurring in the region to make it a first-rate place for all age groups. This workshop is a unique opportunity for local leaders to begin looking at the region and to hear how other communities have begun to create livable communities. The Alamo Area Council of Governments’ region is home to over 345,000 residents who are aged 60 and over. In 2020, this number is projected to increase to almost 500,000 residents. The demographics of this group are also becoming increasingly diverse.
In preparation for this, local leaders are calling for strategies to help strengthen “Aging in Place” services. Workshop speakers and panelists focused on assets already in place and how they can be improved, particularly health and wellness, social integration, planning and mobility. "San Antonio has always been a caring community, and as our Baby Boomer population increases, that will become even more important," said Mayor Phil Hardberger. "We must continue to cultivate a senior-friendly environment - with improvements in infrastructure, for example - so our seniors can continue living full lives. They have much to contribute, and we have much to learn from them."
The grants are intended to stimulate innovative action at the local level. As a result of the workshops and grant opportunities, communities in San Antonio will have a renewed sense of urgency on approaching community livability for all as well as an energized group of organizations and individuals collaborating to face the challenges that accompany this time of change.
San Antonio Jumpstart Grants
- The Alamo Area Council of Governments in partnership with the Alamo and Bexar Area Agencies on Aging
To bring Asset-Based Community Development training to stakeholders on the Aging issue in the San Antonio region. The training will enable the organizations and partner agencies to conduct targeted planning activities in local communities in the regions to assist in identifying the already existing assets that can be utilized to enhance the Aging in Place planning process for the area.
- Education lnvestment Foundation (EIF), the San Antonio Housing Authority (SAHA) and MedTeam, Inc.
To develop a positive media outreach program to assist elderly and disabled citizens with information on housing opportunities, and needed services in San Antonio, Texas.
- Greater Randolph Area Services Program, Inc. (GRASP) in partnership with the City of Live Oak
To begin a program to help seniors who are unable to handle the normal maintenance and care of their homes, for either physical or financial reasons. This program will help seniors with small home maintenance, lawn care, and landscaping issues. The program will be called “Our Community Cares in Live Oak” and will recruit volunteers with experience in home repair and maintenance to carry out the jobs.
- Jefferson Outreach
To provide a special type of transportation service to seniors in their community that will even further improve their quality of life by recruiting young volunteers to provide transportation for “extra services” such as salons, banks, malls and other places which will enhance their lives and allow them to remain part of their community.
- Northeast Senior Assistance
To create a return visit program by nurses to re-evaluate clients whose health or living condition may have changed over time. The return visit will be scheduled for clients during their five year anniversary and every five years thereafter. This additional initiative will help identify potential issues before they become problems impacting clients’ ability to remain in their own homes.
- San Antonio Time Dollar Community Connections
To start a CareBank service for mainly Spanish speaking seniors on the Westside of San Antonio that will provide an affordable transportation system and a social network of people who can rely on each other. Members who join the Care Bank will have the opportunity to socialize with other seniors and members and utilize flexible, affordable, accessible transportation and replace social isolation with a social network providing a sense of community and extended family.