Ground Broken on Village of Hope –

Hope. Magic. Utopia.

These words mean different things to different people, maybe looking towards a better future, receiving something unexpected and unusual, somewhere safe and happy.

Everyone also has a different expectation of possibility, but on Tuesday the ground was laid for a place where maybe, just maybe, and an element of each will be found and create a home and a community for those who have the Not needed anymore.

Village of Hope has been in the works for several years now, a project of Mature Resources Inc. and the Clearfield County Area Agency on Aging Inc.

According to the information provided and the Village of Hope website, “The Village of Hope is an alternative to institutional confinement environments, offering a much more open, fulfilling and healthy life at a lower cost.

“The village will be a purposeful living community where neighbors help neighbors living with cognitive change. The cohabitation model, where people with special needs live with the general public of all ages and abilities, is an appropriate model for today and, like all great societies of the past, maintains a balanced resilience, a humanity diversity capable of changing with the times.”

Initially, the location was to be at the former Girard-Goshen Elementary School; however, the location of a solar farm surrounding the site, while providing a clean source of energy, would have detracted from the aesthetics of the site, and so a new site was chosen along U.S. Route 322 near Wallaceton, which has the necessary infrastructure as well as room to grow.

Kathy Gillespie, executive director of the CCAAA, said she wants to give families and individuals a choice other than institutional care for family members with developmental disabilities or other special needs, whether a parent with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, an adult child in need of care and support, grandparents who have stepped in to raise their grandchildren and need help and support for this phase of life, and the list can go on and on.

“People in institutions are alone,” Gillespie noted, pointing to recent pandemic issues where isolation, even in a living situation with a hundred other people, has had a detrimental effect on people.

A living space such as Village of Hope will allow people to live more independently while having neighbors on hand to provide help and support when needed and also being able to give back in any way possible. , each using their strengths to help everyone else. other.

Eventually, the site will have 50 single-storey duplex and single-family homes, and the foundations for the first house are complete, Gillespie said, with a timeline of the first 10 homes completed this fall, and 38 more by fall 2023. .

She said they were also looking to purchase additional square footage soon for more housing and a community hall where community members can visit, receive meals if they wish, participate in activities, including a kitchen. teaching and a multimedia room and receive other services.

U.S. Representative Glenn “GT” Thompson explained how exciting the project is, noting the number of personal care homes that have recently closed and the needs of families and an aging population.

Gillespie said the CCAAA has tried to step in and help in some of these situations, recently purchasing the Dimeling Hotel, which was converted into a seniors’ residence several years ago, so that the 30 residents would not not lose their home.

Two shared houses have also been opened and six former residents of Marion Manor now live there and find that they are able to be more independent than they have been in a while and they love it.

And the magic? Well, that comes with the wider reach of the village. Matt Kaplan, Ph.D. professor of intergenerational programs and aging at Penn State University, noted that MAGIC stands for Multi-Ability, Multi-Generational Inclusive Community, a place where people come together to help each other and care for each other. each other.

Kaplan noted that the grand opening is a pre-conference event for the Pennsylvania Intergenerational Conference taking place at Penn State this week.

The goals of the conference are to: “inform and educate professionals about innovative, evidence-based intergenerational program models taking root in Pennsylvania and beyond; highlight the benefits of intergenerational programs and practices to promote health and well-being, support families, and enrich community quality of life; provide information, training and support to those interested in joining, replicating and/or developing new intergenerational initiatives; and establish an infrastructure to support and engage intergenerational work in PAs. This includes laying the foundation for the “Pennsylvania Intergenerational Network”.

For more information about Village of Hope, visit For more information about the Intergenerational Conference of Pennsylvania, visit and click Intergenerational Program, then Pennsylvania Intergenerational Network on the right side of your screen.

Detour remains in place as Clearfield County Bridge repair continues