For the past year, Ampact, with support from CoGenerate’s Generations Serving Together program, placed cogenerational pairs of AmeriCorps members in elementary schools. The older and younger adults worked side by side to improve students’ reading and math skills. A...
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CoGenerate is proud to be part of More Perfect, a coalition of national service and bridge-building groups that launched a bold plan today calling for cogenerational national service and volunteering, including a dramatic expansion of opportunities to engage 1 million...
We at CoGenerate (formerly Encore.org) are mourning the loss of Chuck Feeney this week. Without Chuck's vision and generosity we likely would not exist as an organization. Twenty-five years ago Atlantic Philanthropies took a chance on our start-up, playing a...
Purpose Prize Fellow 2006
Building a cohousing community of mutual support and late-life spirituality.
At 18, Geraldine (Dene) Peterson left her parents and ten siblings to join a convent. She ultimately chose to leave the religious order, but her spirituality remained deeply rooted. In 1995, at age 65, she created the ElderSpirit Community in Abingdon, Virginia. Inspired by a Danish model, Peterson wanted to form a co-housing retirement community that would allow friends to live together in a collaborative and supportive setting while also offering some of the autonomy of private dwellings. Peterson also envisioned an alternative to institutional long-term care, a place where community members would have the emotional support of their peers as well as the necessary medical assistance to live out their lives at home. Using a creative patchwork of funding from public and private resources, Peterson raised $3.5 million, and her vision materialized. Construction of the 29 residences, common community building, and a prayer room was completed in late spring of 2006 and will house both the moderate and low-income. The model has gained national attention, and an ElderSpirit outreach extension program in now helping to plan similar communities in Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, Kansas, and Virginia.