BOISE AT HOME
Aging in Place in Community
The Boise at Home Backstory
In 2012, elder law attorney Susan Graham, Boise State University Professor Troy Rohn (an expert in Alzheimer's Disease) and Debbie Hanson, owner of a home health care business, got together to put forward the idea of a program to enable Boise's senior citizens to "age in place," inspired by the success of Beacon Hill Village in Boston. They circulated a needs survey to North End Neighborhood Association members and conferred with city administrators about the future demand in Boise for programs to help seniors remain independent as long as they are able.
After the Idaho Statesman ran a front-page story about the "village concept" and announced a public meeting to discuss it on June 16, 2013, a crowd of 120 gathered at North Junior High to learn about this new way of approaching the challenges and opportunities of aging and explore the possibility of setting up a village in Boise. Graham ran the meeting and welcomed Tom LaPointe, who explained how and why he and others had started "My Own Home" in Moscow. This 2-year-old nonprofit was bringing its members the services, information and friendships they needed to live well and independently—in their own home—into their 70s, 80s and even 90s.
The excitement, interest and impetus generated by that gathering continued and deepened. Since then, more than three dozen people have pitched in at one time or another to move the idea forward.
We began gathering data on Boise seniors and their needs, looked at similar "villages" around the country and adapted some of their ideas, and drew up papers for a tax-exempt nonprofit called Boise Neighbor-2-Neighbor Network, Inc. At the same time, we wrote a business plan, plotted some initial services and programs, investigated software for scheduling volunteers and tracking feedback, and developed forms and procedures for accepting members, volunteers and strategic partners.
In July 2014, we celebrated our designation as a 501(c)3 nonprofit.
To date, we have reached out to two Boise neighborhood associations (North End and East End), which are now represented on our steering committee, and we will contact others very soon. We also have briefed and/or sought advice from the Mayor's office, Boise State University Center for the Study of Aging, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, AARP, Idaho Nonprofit Center, Senior Solutions, Friends in Action, RSVP, United Way and a number of other potential service or program providers/partners. Our goal is not to "reinvent the wheel," but to raise awareness of the many resources Boise already offers and simply fill in the gaps.
In November 2014, we decided to do business as "Boise at Home," a simple name to remember. Graphic artist http://www.studiogco.com/
donated her professional skills to design our logo. Our first Household Member, Pat Myers, age 86, was inspired to create the watercolor of Boise neighborhoods that graces this website, our Facebook page and our brochure. We're very grateful to both of these talented women for visualizing in their unique ways what Boise at Home is all about.
Our website went up in 2015, and we began recruiting members, volunteers and strategic partners. Boise at Home launched initial services at a well-attended ribbon-cutting on Feb. 15, 2016, when Sen. Cherie Buckner-Webb, Rep. Maryanne Jordan and Boise Council President Elaine Clegg offered comments on the value of this new concept.
Although nearly 100 people accepted our invitation to join Boise at Home as a member, volunteer, service provider or donor/investor, we were unable to sustain sufficient cash flow to maintain staff to administer services, so on Oct. 31, 2017, Boise at Home ceased operations. For further information, contact Diane Ronayne, 208-336-2128.
Officers, Staff and Board of Directors, 2016-17
Susan Graham, President
: Elder law/estate planning attorney. Chairs Board meetings and Executive Committee meetings, represents Boise at Home; ex-officio member of all Committee Teams.
Brittney Scigliano, Administrative vice-president (2016)
: Small business owner. Oversees IT/database/website and vetting procedures; manages key volunteers until staff is hired, then oversees staff; presides in absence of President.
Diane Ronayne, Secretary
: Free-lance writer/editor/photographer/graphic artist. Keeps and distributes Minutes of Board and Executive Committee meetings; chairs Public Relations/Marketing Team.
Josh Hoisington, Treasurer (2017):
Monitors and reports to the Board all financial activities, including tax filings and insurance; chairs Finance Team.
- serve on or chair the Committee Teams
Independent contractor for Preservation Idaho and Planmakers
Judy Holcombe (2016)
: Retired attorney (private practice and deputy attorney general); artist
Michael McCarthy (2016)
: Project manager for companies in the software, technology, logistics and insurance industries
: Retired director, Idaho Foodbank
Ken Miller (2017):
Executive Director (Sept. 2016-Oct. 31, 2017)
- Brossy Reina