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Senior Voices: A Community Collaboration

Dayton Metro Library, Rebuilding Together Dayton & WYSO

Dayton Metro Library is collaborating with Rebuilding Together Dayton and WYSO in a partnership that will not only help low-income seniors have safer homes, it will also preserve and share their unique memories, stories and perspectives on life in the Dayton area.

The Senior Voices project addresses both the physical and mental well-being of older citizens, particularly residents of West Dayton. Homeowners who qualify for home repair and safety modifications through Rebuilding Dayton Together will be encouraged to participate in interviews conducted by trained volunteers. The recorded Senior Voices stories will be archived as part of the Dayton Metro Library’s Local History collection and air as a radio series on WYSO.

“With this collaboration, three community-minded organizations are working together to focus attention on the lives of older adults in our area,” said Dave Hicks, Library Volunteer Services Manager. “Rebuilding Together Dayton brings their skills and experience with home rehab, and WYSO brings its commitment to sharing citizen voices. The Dayton Metro Library, which serves older adults in our area through Homebound Delivery, the Lobby Stop Library and many Lifelong Learning initiatives, is recruiting and coordinating volunteers, particularly those age 55 and older. This will be an especially interesting and rewarding volunteer opportunity,” he said.

These volunteers are needed:

  • HOMEOWNERS who meet the age and income requirements to qualify for Rebuilding Together Dayton’s home safety and efficiency modifications.

  • VOLUNTEERS AGE 55+ who would like to interview/record other older adults in their homes, at the Library or at Library Lobby Stop locations (training provided).

  • VOLUNTEERS AGE 55+ who have a story to tell about their lives and the changes they’ve seen in their community.

  • VOLUNTEERS OF ANY AGE to help install materials for safer, more efficient homes.

WYSO Public Radio will train volunteers to collect stories and create a radio and web series in early 2018. General Manager Neenah Ellis said, “We plan to air at least fifty stories in 2018. We expect to hear important and compelling stories about life in the Dayton area.”

Rebuilding Together Dayton is an affiliate of the largest volunteer home repair organization in the nation, providing home rehabilitation for low-income Dayton area homeowners, particularly the elderly, so they can live safely and independently in their own homes. Typical home repairs and accessibility modifications include carpentry, electrical work, plumbing repair, painting, grab bars, handrails, trash removal and yard work.

The Senior Voices collaboration received a Del Mar Social Innovation Award for Older Adult Programming from The Dayton Foundation’s DMH-Fund. The award recognizes innovations from area nonprofits that are working to address issues faced by older adults.

For more information or to volunteer, contact David Hicks, Library Volunteer Services Manager, at (937) 496-8638 or DHicks@DaytonMetroLibrary.org.

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