Generations United and MetLife Foundation are pleased to recognize five incredible communities with the first ever Best Intergenerational Communities Awards. These awards were created to heighten awareness of the importance intergenerational living and programs play in building strong, supportive communities. The winning entries were selected by a blue ribbon panel of judges.
San Diego County, California
“Live Well, San Diego!: A Healthy Community For All Ages”
With three million residents strong, the County of San Diego believes in the need to support intergenerational connections. In 2001, it backed up that belief with serious funding by adding a full-time staff position of Intergenerational Coordinator at the county’s department of Aging & Independence Services (AIS). That investment has paid big returns: through intergenerational programs it has employed residents’ strengths to expand services and address serious challenges.
In San Diego today, all types of county services and programs have an intergenerational aspect. Libraries and Parks and Recreation offer intergenerational art, math, reading and jazz programs. Older adults take part in a Workforce Academy for Youth, mentoring foster youth for six months as they get ready to leave the foster system and join the work world. Young people have the opportunity to join the Legacy Corps Program where they serve caregivers and learn about the aging process.
This June, county agencies, non-profit organizations, for-profit agencies and faith communities will conduct a summit: Live Well, San Diego! Building a Healthy Community for All Ages. Speakers and activities will focus on how to make healthy choices and create living environments that encourage safe, active lifestyles.
San Diego’s efforts have resonated well with residents of all ages. As retired volunteer and community gardener Rich Rogers noted, community gardening “has turned into a labor of love. Gardening is as “grass roots” as you can get and teaching and mentoring kids of all ages increases my desire to be a positive influence and asset in my community.”
For more information about San Diego County, CA, download America’s Best Intergenerational Communities.