In 2001 a handful of older residents of Boston’s Beacon Hill neighborhood became concerned about how they would stay in their neighborhood and their homes into their 80s and 90s. This led to the founding of the country’s first elder village, Beacon Hill Village, a volunteer neighborhood group designed to provide social connections and practical assistance to older adults. There are now hundreds of these villages in the U.S., with many more in development. Some cover an entire county, others focus on small, often walkable neighborhoods.

Each village offers a range of services and benefits, from finding teenagers to play chess with residents to helping with grocery shopping. Typically, a small tax-deductible fee (usually $100 to $500 a year, with many villages offering scholarships for lower-income residents) lets members take advantage of benefits like rides to medical appointments, dog-walking, yard work, home fix-ups, and tech assistance. The most active villages also offer social activities like book clubs and walking groups.

If there’s no village in your area, you can help found one. You’ll need to:

  • Organize a group of nearby neighbors interested in staying in their homes.
  • Visit vtvnetwork.org to learn about the village model and for referrals to other resources.
  • Decide on a geographic area you’d like to cover. Many active villages serve smaller walkable neighborhoods; some encompass whole counties.
  • To avoid duplicating services already offered for free or almost free by local governments, talk to local councils or agencies on aging (click for a list of those resources). Also find out if your local aging agencies have policies or programs to encourage village-forming.
  • Evaluate whether you’d like to operate the village as a primarily volunteer operation (lower operating costs and lower membership fees) or a staffed organization. Volunteer villages often grow into staffed villages as membership increases.
  • Can you establish a brick-and-mortar headquarters, or do you want to run the village remotely? Again, both have advantages and disadvantages. Having a physical location often benefits members, but it can be expensive.
  • You can sign up for a six-month Opportunity Member Trial Membership with the Village to Village Network for $125, with access to its library of documents, webinars, toolkits, and other resources. (Regular memberships cost $425/year per village.)
  • Sign up with the Village to Village Network mentor program to get an experienced organizer to help you plan and develop your village (included in Opportunity Member fee).

Below, we list the active villages we could find for the Twin Cities area. Did we miss any? Have an update to the info we collected? Email us at [email protected] We’ll try to keep this list up to date.

Elder Villages in the Twin Cities Area


Como Park Falcon Heights Living At Home Block Nurse Program

  • Como Park Lutheran Church, 1376 Hoyt Avenue W., St. Paul, 651-642-1127, comobnp.org, [email protected]
  • Serves residents age 65+ of the Community of Como Park and areas of Falcon Heights.
  • Transportation, home safety checks, errands, light household chores, yardwork, respite care, friendly visits, free in-home nurse visit, development of care plan, blood pressure clinics, home health care, foot care, exercise classes, support groups.
  • Fees for some services.

DARTS

  • 1645 Marthaler Lane, West St. Paul, 651-455-1560, dartsconnects.org
  • For age 55+ in Dakota County.
  • Transportation, minor household maintenance and repair, yardwork, housekeeping and cleaning, respite visits, support groups, caregiver counseling and resources, social events.
  • Fees for some services.

East Side Elders

  • 463 Maria Avenue, Suite 201, St. Paul, 651-683-2326, eastsideelders.org, [email protected]
  • Serves senior residents of the Conway-Battle Creek, Dayton’s Bluff, and Payne-Phalen neighborhoods.
  • Transportation, yardwork, household chores, friendly phone calls and visits, blood pressure checks and wellness program, foot care, respite care, referrals to professional service providers, social events.
  • Free (some activities may require a small fee).

East Side Neighborhood Services

  • 1700 Second Street NE, Minneapolis, 612-781-6011, esns.org, [email protected]
  • Open to all ages; focuses on residents of northeast and southeast Minneapolis.
  • Transportation for seniors and those with disabilities, elder law clinics, food shelf programs, fitness group, health and educational workshops, social events.
  • Fees or donations for some services.

Hamline Midway Elders

  • 1514 Englewood Avenue, St. Paul, 651-209-6542, hmelders.org, [email protected]rg
  • Serves senior residents in St. Paul living in the area bounded by Dale Street to the east, University Avenue to the south, Transfer Road to the west, and Pierce Butler Route to the north.
  • Transportation, technological assistance, yardwork, shopping help, referrals to professional service providers, friendly phone calls and visits, respite care, caregiver support, low vision assessment and free vision equipment, health care advocacy, shopping for and delivery of medical equipment, holiday gifts for seniors, educational events, social events, free defensive driving refresher class, exercise classes and groups, knitting group, reading buddy program with third grade students.
  • Donations accepted for services.

Help At Your Door

  • 651-642-1892, helpatyourdoor.org
  • Serves seniors and those with disabilities residing in Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Scott, Ramsey, and Washington counties.
  • Transportation, exterior home maintenance and repair, interior household cleaning and chores, grocery ordering and delivery (includes putting items away).
  • Pay per service (discounts for bundled service packages).

Highland Block Nurse Program

  • 2076 St. Anthony Avenue, St. Paul, 651-696-8425, ourladyofpeacemn.org/highland-block, [email protected]
  • Serves residents age 65+ of the Highland Park neighborhood and the Macalester-Groveland neighborhood south of St. Clair Avenue and east to Lexington Parkway.
  • Transportation, in-home assessment, in-home foot care, in-home nurse and home health aid visits, respite care and caregiver support.
  • Pay per service.

Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Minneapolis

  • 5905 Golden Valley Road, Golden Valley,
    952-546-0616, jfcsmpls.org/our-services/senior-services,
    [email protected]
  • Serves anyone age 60+.
  • Garber Transportation (for those living in a defined area of Hennepin County), shopping services (transportation and a shopping companion), care coordination, caregiver coaching, Alzheimer’s and dementia services.
  • Pay per service.

Keystone Community Services

  • 2000 St. Anthony Avenue, St. Paul, 651-645-0349, keystoneservices.org
  • Serves anyone age 55+.
  • Transportation to appointments, yardwork,
    dog walking, care management, foot care clinic, Block Nurse services in St. Paul’s West 7th neighborhood, health insurance counseling, household chores, social activities, fitness classes, wellness programs, free farmers markets.
  • Fees for some services; donations accepted for some services.

Longfellow Seward Healthy Seniors

  • 2800 East Lake Street, Minneapolis, 612-729-5799, longfellowsewardhs.org, [email protected]
  • Serves seniors residing in the Longfellow and Seward neighborhoods of Minneapolis.
  • Limited transportation to medical appointments, support groups, social and health talks, exercise class, blood pressure checks, clinics, in-home nursing support, friendly visits.
  • Fees for some services.

Mill City Commons Village

  • 125 Main Street SE, Suite 339, Minneapolis, 612-455-3329, millcitycommons.org, [email protected]
  • Serves any age; focuses on those age 55+ residing along or near the downtown riverfront.
  • Technological assistance, referrals to professional service providers, interest groups, social, educational, cultural and fitness programs (some programs require a fee).
  • Membership: $650 annually per individual; $1,050 annually per household. Reduced fee memberships available.

Neighborhood Network for Seniors

  • 1895 Laurel Avenue, St. Paul, 651-646-2301, neighborhoodnetworkforseniors.org, [email protected]
  • Serves residents age 65+ of the Merriam Park, Summit University, Lex-Ham, Snelling Hamline, and Macalester-Groveland (north of St. Clair Avenue) neighborhoods.
  • Transportation to medical appointments, yardwork, pet care, plant care, grocery shopping help, meal preparation, home safety assessment, respite care, in-home foot care, care coordination, blood pressure checks, medication management, friendly phone calls and visits, education seminars, exercise classes.
  • Fees for some services; donations accepted for some services.

Nokomis Healthy Seniors

  • 4120 17th Avenue S., Minneapolis, 612-729-5499, nokomishealthyseniors.org, [email protected]
  • Serves senior residents of the Bancroft, Bryant, Corcoran, Diamond Lake, Ericsson, Field, Hale, Keewaydin, Minnehaha, Morris Park, Northrup, Page, Regina, Standish, and Wenonah
    neighborhoods in the greater Nokomis area of Minneapolis.
  • Transportation, technological assistance, exercise classes, nursing clinics, blood pressure clinics, foot care, support groups, referrals to community resources, friendly visits, social events, educational programs.
  • Fees for some services or activities; donations accepted for some services.

North East Seniors for Better Living

  • 1961 Sherwood Avenue E., St. Paul, 651-808-1901, neseniorsforbetterliving.org
  • Serves seniors and those suffering from memory loss who reside in the area bounded by Larpenteur Avenue E. to the north, McKnight Road N., Lakewood Drive and Stillwater Road E. to the east, Minnehaha Ave. E. to the south, and Johnson Parkway to the west.
  • Transportation, light household maintenance and repair, yardwork, gardening help, friendly phone calls and visits, social activities, educational presentations, blood pressure checks, Medicare counseling, care coordination.
  • Fees for some services.

North End-South Como Block Nurse Program

  • 727 Front Avenue #118, St. Paul, 651-487-5135, nescbnp.org, [email protected]
  • Serves seniors residing in District 6 and the Frogtown neighborhood north of University Avenue and east of Dale Street in St. Paul.
  • Transportation, errands, minor household maintenance and repair, yardwork, technological assistance, occasional pet care, friendly visits, free exercise classes, free blood pressure checks, free coloring club, referrals to nursing care, homemaker/companion services for a fee (meal preparation, laundry, light housekeeping, errands, respite care).
  • Fees for some services.

Northeast Senior Services

  • 900 42nd Avenue NE, #317, Columbia Heights, 612-781-5096, neseniors.org, [email protected]
  • Serves residents age 60+ of Columbia Heights, New Brighton, northeast Minneapolis, and St. Anthony Village.
  • Transportation to appointments (donations accepted) and all Northeast Senior Services activities, foot clinics, legal clinics for real estate issues, health insurance counseling, referrals to professional service providers and community resources, senior housing tours, annual gadget fair, walking group, social events.
  • Fees or donations for individual services.

Roseville Area Senior Program

  • Fairview Community Center, 1910 County Road B West, Roseville, 651-604-3535, isd623.org/rasp, [email protected]
  • Serves those age 55+ and those with disabilities residing in the Roseville Area School District boundaries and select municipalities; age 60+ for transportation.
  • Transportation (rides to medical appointments from volunteer drivers—donations accepted; RASP bus rides for a fee), referrals to community resources, drop-in lounge, craft shop, classes, foot care clinic, free blood pressure screening, free health insurance counseling, caregiver support group, free hearing screening and hearing aid check, social activities, interest groups, in-home assessment, friendly visits and home health
    care services for homebound seniors.
  • Fees for some classes and services.

St. Anthony Park Area Seniors

  • 2200 Hillside Avenue, St. Paul, 651-642-9052, sapaseniors.org, [email protected]
  • Serves residents age 60+ of the St. Anthony Park neighborhood of St. Paul, Lauderdale, and Falcon Heights west of Cleveland.
  • Transportation (for mainly medical appointments), errands, minor home repairs, technological assistance, yardwork, paperwork assistance, friendly visits, respite care, referrals to professional service providers, social activities, exercise classes, blood pressure clinics, educational presentations, home safety checks, tools for the vision-impaired.
  • Fees for some services.

Southeast Seniors

  • 2828 University Avenue SE, Suite 200, Minneapolis, 612-331-2302, www.seseniorsmpls.org, [email protected]
  • Serves residents age 65+ of the Southeast Como, Marcy Holmes, and Prospect Park neighborhoods in southeast Minneapolis (Zip code 55414).
  • Transportation, friendly visits, grocery shopping assistance, blood pressure checks, home safety checks, health seminars, in-home nursing services, household chores, pen pal program with elementary school students, Connection Club with UMN students, oral history program, social and educational activities, travel.
  • Fees for some services.