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Rivers East Village is a group of people coming together in Milwaukie, Gladstone and unincorporated areas between to help each other stay in our homes as we age. Some of us are VOLUNTEERS who provide programs, small services in gardens and homes, rides and social opportunities. Others of us are MEMBERS who receive these benefits. We are neighbors helping neighbors.


The first Village, Beacon Hill Village in Boston, began in 2002 when 12 older adults joined forces to create a way to help each other age in place for as long as possible.  There are now hundreds of Villages nationwide. There are several villages in the Portland area. To find a village in your area, visit Villages NW website

Overview of a Village

A Village is a group of like-minded people in a geographic area who come together to identify and develop the resources and support they will need to age as long as possible in their own homes.  Villages embrace the strategy of bringing services and support to people rather than moving people to services. Village MEMBERS pay a small monthly fee to receive assistance and services from neighbors who volunteer their time. There are hundreds of Villages nationwide with more in development.  We currently have 11 Villages in the Portland Metropolitan area.

General Questions

When will Rivers East Village member services become available?

We anticipate beginning to enroll members in February 2020 and begin providing services in March 2020.   


What are Rivers East Village office hours?

Monday - Friday 10:00 am - 2:00 pm


What is Aging in Place?

Aging in Place is the concept that you can remain in your place of choice as long as you wish. Aging in Place is a choice, it gives you control over your independence, quality of life and dignity. Aging in place does not mean you have to do everything yourself. It means you get to plan how your needs are met.  


Who oversees village operations?

Rivers East Village is self-governing. Village members elect village leaders and vote on major issues. Rivers East Village is a program of Village NW who support village operations in the following ways:

  • Maintains a non-profit 501(c)(3) tax status
  • Provides HR support 
  • Provides general liability and directors and officers insurance
  • Provides start up guidance to new villages
  • Provides a volunteer Board of Directors
  • Provides accounting and financial reporting


Questions about Membership


Why should I join if I’m healthy and active?

A Village can provide a variety of social activities and a way to meet people who share common interests. As a MEMBER of a Village you will have a little help around the house, rides to events, medical appointments, etc. MEMBERS also have access to fun social activities and a meaningful way to connect with others in our community. For a VOLUNTEER who donates time and provides services, it’s a way to give back to the community. 


Are members required to volunteer?

No, MEMBERS receiving services are not required to also volunteer their time, although many do. VOLUNTEERS do not pay membership fees unless they decide to become MEMBERS.


What is the cost of membership?

We offer four different membership types with annual fees. Visit the “Membership” section of our webpage for details. Rivers East Village plans to conduct fundraising events to offer financial assistance for those in need. 


Are member dues tax deductible?

MEMBER fees are not tax deductible


Why do members have to pay a fee if services are provided by volunteers?

MEMBER fees are collected to cover village operating costs. Village operating costs are low because:

  • Rivers East Village has no paid employees
  • Volunteers provide services and village supports
  • We operate a virtual office and have no rent or utility costs

Village MEMBERS get a lot of bang for their buck when comparing membership fees to annual cost for paid services.  


Why should I become a MEMBER?

Here are just a few of the reasons to become a Rivers East Village MEMBER:

  • You want to age in place in your own home in the community you love
  • Even if family and friends can help with transportation and chores, they may not always be available or you may prefer not to call on them regularly
  • You want to enjoy a wide range of educational programs and social events as you interact with and enjoy the company of your neighbors
  • You will have help finding qualified paid providers, such as plumbers, handymen, home health services, landscapers, etc. Some vendors may  offer discounts to members. 
  • You may find that you want help getting to medical appointments or even shopping, due to illness, surgery, a hospital stay, or other personal circumstances 
  • A village can make the difference between your being able to remain safely in your home or having to move because you need assistance


What are the benefits and services of membership?

There are three categories of MEMBER benefits:

  • Social and Educational Activities: Examples - walking groups, book clubs, card groups, seminars, luncheons, webinars, potlucks, happy hours, wine club, movie night, coffee klatches, gardening, guest speakers, local points of interest tours, and more
  • Free Services: Examples of services - tech support, transportation, friendly visitors, occasional yard work, minor home repairs, furniture assembly, organizing and decluttering, telephone check in, non-medical support during home recovery, and more
  • MEMBER Advocacy: Examples of advocacy - problem solving, billing problems, collecting documents for tax preparation, finding reliable home repair contractors, finding needed resources, and more


Here are some examples of the costs of various expenses compared to the cost of a membership in a Village, using $40-$50 as the average monthly membership fee.

Expenses without Village Membership

Expenses with Full Membership

dependent upon volunteer availability

Housekeeping help for 2 hrs @ $35/hr = $70

Occasional light housekeeping 

Handyman.  One call, $90.00 to show up then hourly rate.

Handyman help

Door to door rides.  2 per week @ $40 ech, $320 per mth. 

Up to 12 services per month 

Total monthly cost:  $ 480.00

Total monthly cost: $40-$50 full membership fee


What if I need something that is not on the list of services?

Let us know what you need and we will work with you to find a solution. Our service list will grow based on the needs of our members.


How do people become village members? 

It’s easy. Submit an online membership inquiry found under “Membership” on our website or send an email or call and leave a message. A membership coordinator will follow up with you to:

  • Schedule an in-person Villager Introduction (60 - 90 mins)
  • Read and sign a Membership Agreement
  • Select a membership type
  • Pay a membership fee  
  • Begin participating in village activities and requesting services


How do MEMBERS request service?

Members can request services three ways: 

  • Log into our website and submit a service request
  • Send an email
  • Call and leave a message.  

While we strive to meet member’s needs, service is based on VOLUNTEER availability and is not guaranteed. Because, it may take a few days to match a VOLUNTEER to a request, we ask that MEMBERS provide 4-5 days advance notice when possible.


Is there a limit on the number of volunteer services I can have?

Yes, we offer different membership types so that members can choose the level of service that meets their needs. 


What if I have an emergency?

In any emergency, call 911. Rivers East Village volunteers are not equipped to deal with emergencies or urgent medical needs.


Can I be a MEMBER if I don’t need services?

Yes, we offer a social membership that enables you enjoy social activities at a reduced membership rate. Visit our “Membership” page on our website for details. 


Are activities included in the price of membership?

Many  activities are free for members but some activities may have a small additional cost. We will always let you know if there is an extra cost!


Questions About Volunteers

Who are Rivers East Village VOLUNTEERS?

Village VOLUNTEERS are neighbors who are committed to making life a little easier, a little better, and a little more fun for our MEMBERS.  All VOLUNTEERS undergo a background check and receive volunteer training. 


What are the benefits of volunteering?

Volunteerism is a cornerstone of the Village model, drawing upon people in our community to support each other. Volunteers provide most of the services, resources, and community activities that allow a Village to offer a safety net and the peace of mind that make a positive difference in the lives of the members.

There are many benefits to volunteering, such as:

  • Making a contribution to your Community
  • Staying active - mentally, physically and socially
  • Putting your skills and expertise to good use
  • Broadening your horizons by interacting with new people
  • Gaining a sense of accomplishment through helping others
  • Achieving a new or strengthened sense of purpose
  • Bringing more fun and fulfillment to your life
  • Paying it forward, knowing that someday each of us may need support too


Do I have to be a member to be a VOLUNTEER?

Most village VOLUNTEERS are not MEMBERS, they are community members who want to help. MEMBERS are encouraged to be VOLUNTEERS in whatever way they may enjoy.  


Do village volunteers have medical training?

Village VOLUNTEERS are not equipped to handle medical needs. If you need assistance with taking medication, transferring to or from a wheelchair, or dressing wounds, you will need a care provider. Village advocacy volunteers may be able to help you connect with qualified care providers.


What's involved in becoming a VOLUNTEER?

All village VOLUNTEERS are screened and trained. To get started, complete the volunteer application on our website or send an inquiry email or call and leave a message and a volunteer coordinator will follow up with you. The steps to become a village VOLUNTEER include:

  • Participating in an in-person villager introduction session (60 - 90 mins). The introduction session will help you decide if being a village volunteer is a good fit for you, answer your questions and get you started on next steps. 
  • Reading and signing a VOLUNTEER agreement
  • Completing a criminal background check
  • Selecting preferred volunteer tasks and availability
  • Providing name and phone number for an emergency contact 


What's involved in a volunteer background check?

The background check is conducted online. It takes about 15 minutes to answer the questions and results are provided within a week. The cost of the background check is $33. Rivers East Village will pay the background check fee or VOLUNTEERS may choose to pay the fee as a donation.


How old do you have to be to volunteer? 

Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age, however younger children may participate in some activities with an adult volunteer. 

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