The role of community impact director is a new staff position, formed to raise Twin Cities' elders out of isolation through a full-scale engagement of volunteers from within the community.
"We're very excited to tap Ann's proven experience in program design, as well as her skills in building organizational capacity through volunteer and community engagement," said James Falvey, LBFE's executive director.
For more than 44 years, Little Brothers - Friends of the Elderly has connected isolated and lonely Twin Cities elders to the community. Its core service matches volunteers with older adults to provide regular home visits, which enable elders to enjoy a greater sense of social engagement, dignity and independence while decreasing the health risks associated with isolation. Earlier this year, LBFE launched a new initiative to transform its service delivery to a volunteer-based model aimed at bringing these services to scale.
"Ann will help provide the organizational structure that will enable us to reach some very aggressive goals," Mr. Falvey said. The past fiscal year, LBFE provided visits and advocacy to 220 isolated elders. "That represented less than 1% of isolated Twin Cities elders, and with the increasing elder population, we can and must do better," he added.
The new model will enable LBFE to grow its volunteer force and the elders served exponentially. Strategic goals include increasing the number of elders served to 250 and the depth of service to 1,250 total engagement hours per month by the end of the current fiscal year 2017 (June 30, 2017), and eventually serving 1,000 elders with 5,000 engagement hours per month by the end of FY2019. The strategic plan also involves goals for supporting secondary elder programs, such as social activities, holiday dinners and a Friendship and Flowers visiting program for nursing home residents.
"This really is a total organizational push that will involve superhuman efforts, not only in our programming, but also in the areas of public relations, fundraising, strategic alliances, data collection and reporting," Mr. Falvey said. "Ultimately our success will be rooted in a neighbor-caring-for-neighbor paradigm, bringing us closer to a community where no elder feels alone in life, and every elder is valued and loved."