ATHENS, GA – Athens Community Council on Aging (ACCA) through the Northeast Georgia Regional Commission and Georgia Division of Aging Services was recently awarded a grant to implement the first “village” in Georgia.  The village is not an actual structure but a concept.  It is a membership and consumer driven organization developed by and for older adults that work together to coordinate programs, services, and volunteers to assist its members toward the goal of aging in place.

The village concept was developed in the Boston area of Beacon Hill in 2002.  It has since grown to form the Village to Village Network with over 150 villages starting over the last 10 years.  Athens’ start up village will be the first for the state of Georgia and will serve as a model for the rest of the state after the inaugural year.

“ACCA had been working on organizing a village in the area for over a year and being chosen for the grant from the Division of Aging Services was a huge honor and will make the dream a reality,” stated Jennie Deese, Chief Executive Officer of ACCA.  She went on to say that “there will be a lot of eyes on Athens as this project will bring statewide attention to the community as it serves as the state’s model.  Since being named one of the nation’s top retirement destinations, ACCA has seen a growth in the request for services. Having the village option will certainly enhance our community offerings.”

The mission of the Athens Community Council on Aging is to promote a lifetime of wellness through engagement, advocacy, education and support.  Founded in 1967 by local citizens, ACCA is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization and aims to maintain and enrich the lives of older persons with 14 programs in 12 Northeast Georgia counties. ACCA’s programs enable older persons to live independently at home and offer opportunities for employment, volunteerism, and other activities. ACCA is a resource for education, information, referral, counseling, and general assistance.

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