Hi everyone! Paula Reif here with some exciting news. May 27, 2021, we received notice that out of 112 applicants, we are one of twenty Madison area organizations chosen to receive a Forward Community Investments Nonprofit Capacity Building grant! Many thanks to FCI for their support of our vision.Some of you may have heard my name through the years. I first heard Karin’s vision for an intergenerational neighborhood at our friends’ wedding reception. Hearing her passion for the vision inspired me to explore intergenerational connections more deeply because my passion is to support, serve, and inspire young families to overcome adversity, achieve their dreams, and reach their goals. At Karin’s dining room table eighteen years ago, we began research and exploration into intergenerational communities and programs. The benefit of intergenerational community to enrich the lives of all generations moved us to continue learning and exploring this intergenerational journey and discover how the Therapeutic Interactive Intergenerational Neighborhood, (TIIN), concept we are creating will impact the lives of participants, and support equity, healing, and a positive future for all.

“The TIIN is not business as usual. It is goal directed living with a commitment to care, learn, grow, problem solve and create together!”
Karin Krause, Hope A Future Blog, May 2021

Intergenerational Programming
My primary focus for the TIIN is developing and implementing infrastructure and programming that empowers each individual in their personal journey while also facilitating intentional intergenerational connections. In 2017, I was in the first training workshop that was offered to facilitate the Intergenerational Leadership Institute. The Intergenerational Leadership Institute, ILI, is a conduit for older adults to become change agents in their community. Matt Kaplan, a pioneer in the field of intergenerational program research and development and a professor at Penn State, created the ILI model to function as an incubator for older adults to create and sustain new intergenerational programs at the local level. Older adults embody a plethora of experience and expertise with the potential to be a part of the solution for many of the social concerns we face. In this program, older adults complete an introductory course and then gather monthly for seminars designed to build participants’ intergenerational programming skills, enhance their leadership skills and provide support for them to move ideas into well developed plans, programs, and campaigns. The ILI program has three objectives: lifelong learning, meaningful civic engagement, and new intergenerational program development. I will offer the first ILI introductory course in the fall of 2021. Whether you’ve had an idea simmering, or you want to ponder the possibilities, the ILI provides the tools to begin and ongoing support for your intergenerational programming journey.

Addressing Equity
Differences in income have led to income segregated housing, and the disparity between income and wealth continues to grow. Over the past year community members have experienced a new degree of stress due to economic uncertainty as many economically stable families have suffered loss of wages and unexpected expenses as a result of the pandemic. The TIIN model is designed to dilute the influence of economic disparity by developing an inclusive housing model where residents benefit from support and services.

Getting Ahead In A Just Gettin By World, Getting Ahead
I first heard the term, “future story” used in the context of programming when I attended a facilitator training for the “Getting Ahead in a Just Gettin By World” workshop. In line with the TIIN model, Getting Ahead recognizes the influence that our past experiences have on our current life, and how our current decisions impact our future life. The TIIN offers a holistic approach to community that welcomes each person where they are in their life story and supports the creation of their future story. Getting Ahead empowers participants to take charge of building resources. It provides a kitchen table style learning experience for people who are experiencing poverty or struggling to make ends meet to build economic stability, and envision a better future for themselves and the community.

Getting Ahead provides participants a framework to co-investigate the constructs of economic inequality through the lens of economic class to better understand how the economy and society impact individual lives. It supports the development of visualization of deeply held assumptions that influence how we see the world to explore the hidden rules of economic class as described in research by Ruby K. Payne. These mental models provide common language and shared constructs to bring understanding and guide problem solving.

While our housing development is still in the planning stages, we believe that the empowerment of community members through intergenerational program offerings is needed now. Hope & A Future thanks Forward Community Investments for their generous Capacity Building grant which allows us to offer Getting Ahead in a Just Gettin By World, and the Intergenerational Leadership Institute, for the Madison community. The first workshops will begin soon! Watch the monthly calendar and social media for dates and information. Due to COVID restrictions, we aren’t yet able to gather in person, so it’s anticipated that the first offerings in 2021 will be virtual, via Zoom. If you would like more information about ILI or Getting Ahead, please contact me at [email protected]

DeVol, Phillip E., ( 2020), Getting Ahead In a Just Getting By World. Building Your Resources for a Better Life, 4th Edition, aha! Process, Inc.

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