Neighbor Network is a local nonprofit with a big mission – Helping Older Adults Stay Independent. Neighbor Network’s innovative volunteer programs keep costs down and quality of life up for our older residents.
The 60 plus population is the fastest growing age group in many Colorado communities. And, of all the counties in the United States, Douglas County, has witnessed the highest percentages. This population age group increased 194% during the past decade. And, at this rate of growth, by the year 2030, people age 60 and over will be 25% or one in four, of the total Douglas County population.
With this rapid increase, many older adults find that they do not have access to the services they desperately need in order to continue to live safely and comfortably in their homes and communities. This may be due to physical limitations, living in isolated locations or financial challenges. Neighbor Network’s programs provide a safety net for members, allowing older adults to remain active in the community while living independently in their homes.
According to Neighbor Network Executive Director, Karie Erickson, “We are a grassroots nonprofit that has expanded as a result of the mounting unmet needs of the growing older adult population. When I started with Neighbor Network seven years ago, there were about a dozen or so members in the program. Today we are almost 400 strong.” In fact, Neighbor Network has swiftly stepped up to meet the increasing need in the community, providing services that were not available without paying a high premium.
In 2014, Neighbor Network’s dedicated volunteers provided over 2,400 rides for trips to doctor appointments, grocery shopping, social excursions, and more. Our staff answers approximately 500 calls per month from residents in need of assistance and help finding resources. Our home maintenance team provided the expertise and labor for our members to continue to live safely in their homes. For many, having Neighbor Network services available makes the difference between staying in their homes versus a premature move into assisted living.
Neighbor Network volunteers are screened, trained, and supervised. The Douglas County Sheriff’s Department partners with Neighbor Network to provide background checks. As a Neighbor Network volunteer, you will be providing assistance to many people in the community who need a helping hand. To be eligible to receive services, one must be age 60 or over, reside in Douglas County, and complete an application.
Services offered include our volunteer driver program, companionship program, advocacy and resource information services, in addition to a home maintenance and repair group, and a grocery shopping service. For volunteer opportunities or to become a patron, please contact the Neighbor Network office at 303-814-4300 or visit the website at www.dcneighbornetwork.org.