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Frequently Asked Questions



Q: What is a Village?
A: A Village is a community-based, nonprofit organization that connects its members to a wide range of support services and social connections, enabling older adults to enjoy a rich, independent, and healthy quality of life while they age in their homes and communities. The International Village Movement began 20 years ago with Beacon Hill Village in Boston and now includes about 350 villages in the United States and around the world.
Q: What is Eastside Village?
A: Eastside Village, launched in October 2015, serves 23 neighborhoods in Northeast and Southeast Portland, Oregon, from the Willamette River east to SE 122nd Avenue, and from Interstate-84 south to the city’s southern boundary. It is part of Villages NW, the umbrella organization of 10 Villages in the Portland Metro area and one along the Oregon Coast. Villages NW manages the nonprofit status of the Villages and provides grant monies, administrative and financial support, and coordination. Eastside Village provides a network of volunteer services and social activities that help our Members stay in their homes and connected to our community.
Q: Who operates Eastside Village?
A: Eastside Village is run by its Members, who nominate and elect a Governing Council. Day-to-day operations are handled by our part-time Office Manager and Volunteers.
Q: Does Eastside Village have a physical office?
A: Yes. Our part-time Office Manager and Volunteers answer the phone and emails, and help run an efficient organization. We also use our office for meetings and collaborative projects.
Q: How is Eastside Village funded?
A: Eastside Village is funded by membership fees, grants, and fundraising.
Q: How do I find out about Eastside Village activities and events?
A: We post all activities and events on our Eastside Village website Calendar [go there]. The monthly newsletter (sent to members and non-members, and available on our Website [go there]) and weekly email updates (sent to Members only) also list activities and events.
Q: How can I learn more about Eastside Village?
A: Attend an Eastside Village Information Session to learn more about Eastside Village and have your questions answered before you decide if you’d like to become a Member. To find out when the next “Eastside Village 101” session is scheduled, check the Village Calendar on the website [go there] or contact the Office [info] for more information.
Q: How do I contact the Eastside Village Office?
A: By phone: 503-866-0571. If you leave a voice message after hours, we’ll respond within two to three business days.
By email:
Hours: 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM, Monday through Friday; closed on major holidays
Q: Who can join Eastside Village?
A: Anyone who resides within Eastside Village boundaries [see map] and is at least 18 years old, including people with a chronic illness or disability, who can benefit from services and programs that support independent living. Most of our Members are at least 50 years old and wish to remain safely in their home and in a mutually supportive community as they age.
Q: Why should I join if I’m healthy and don’t need any services?
A: Because Eastside Village is fun, rewarding, and welcoming! Social Members participate in our programs and events. They meet fascinating and friendly people. They also may request up to three volunteer services per year (and up to two weeks of service if they’re incapacitated due to health issues) and have access to our lists of vetted, background-checked vendors. A portion of Social membership fees is tax-deductible.
Q: What kinds of services does Eastside Village offer?
A: Service requests are for occasional, not ongoing, needs. Such services include transportation to and from medical appointments; non-medical support during a recovery; occasional light household and garden tasks; pet care and errands; computer, tablet, cell phone, printer, and other tech support; and friendly phone calls and visits to check in on Members’ well-being. Click here for a comprehensive list of available services provided by our Volunteers, and click here for services from vetted vendors.
Q: How do members request services?
A: Members can request services by contacting our Office [info] by phone or by email. Service is based on Volunteer availability. Because it may take a few days to match a Volunteer to a request, Members should plan to provide 4-5 days' advance notice whenever possible.
Q: How many services can I ask for?
A: Full-service Members may request any number of most kinds of services. The exception is transportation, which is limited to three round trips per week. Full-service membership fees are not tax-deductible. As mentioned above, Social Members may request up to three services per year.
Q: Can I bring a friend or grandchild with me on a ride provided by Eastside Village?
A: Yes, as long as you give advance notice to the Office [info] and the Volunteer Driver and as long as both you and your friend or grandchild can be picked up and dropped off together. You must provide a car seat if your grandchild is required to be in one.
Q: If I use a walker, cane, or wheelchair, can a Volunteer transport me and my device?
A: Yes, with advance notice to the Office [info] and the Volunteer driver. You must be able to get in and out of the car on your own; the Volunteer driver may only offer a supportive arm.
Q: What if I have a sudden, urgent need request and can’t ask for help several days in advance?
A: Please call the Office (503-866-0571) and we will try to find a Volunteer to help you. Be sure to have a backup plan in case no Volunteer is available.
Q: What if I have an emergency?
A: In an emergency, you should call 911 or your doctor. If a Volunteer is with you, they can call 911, the Village Office, and the emergency contacts you provided to us. Volunteers are not equipped to deal with emergencies or urgent medical needs.
Q: What if I must cancel a service appointment?
A: Let the Office know [info] as soon as possible so we can notify the Volunteer.
Q: Can I ask for help with something that isn’t specifically listed as a service?
A: Let the Office know what you need [info]. We may have Volunteers who can help! If you need help with a large project, we may be able to complete it in phases. If you have a service need beyond our Volunteers’ capacity, the Office can give you the names of professionals from our vetted vendor list.
Q: Are Members required to attend meetings?
A: Members are encouraged, but not required, to attend Village meetings.
Q: What does it cost to be a Member?
A: Eastside Village offers Full-service and Social memberships. Our membership fees are payable on an annual, quarterly, or monthly schedule basis with associated fees. For more details, see our Membership Rates page [go there].
Q: Are activities included in the price of membership?
A: Most of our activities are free. We always let Members know if an activity has a small cost.
Q: Can I upgrade my membership if my needs change?
A: Yes! If Social Members need more services for a longer period, they can upgrade to a Full-service Membership on a pro-rated basis. When their situation improves, they can revert to a Social membership on their renewal date.
Q: Can I pay for my parents’ membership?
A: This is a great gift to give your parents and yourself, to know they have a community here. They will still need to go through the usual membership process to be sure we’re a good fit for them and can deliver the services they may need in the future.
Q: Can I buy someone else a membership?
A: Yes, you may give the gift of an Eastside Village membership to anyone! They’ll receive all of our membership benefits.
Q: Is there a way to join if I can’t afford the full cost of membership?
A: Eastside Village offers scholarships to a limited number of low-income, Full-service Members. These funds come from grants and donations.
Q: Can I receive a refund if I wish to discontinue my membership?
A: We do not offer refunds for early termination of membership requested by a Member. Your membership will continue until the end of the period that you’ve paid for.
Q: What happens if I move outside of Eastside Village boundaries?
A: Villages in the Portland area have a reciprocity agreement, so you can transfer your membership to another Village within Villages NW. Please contact the Office [info] for this information.
Q: How does Eastside Village use the membership fees?
A: Our membership fees cover our Office Manager’s salary and operating expenses, such as office rent, liability insurance, telephone, postage, equipment, supplies, technology fees, and event venue rentals.
Q: When I request services, will I have the same Volunteer each time?
A: Volunteers decide when and how often they’re available. Please let us know if you have a preference, but we can’t promise a specific Volunteer for your request.
Q: Can I call a Volunteer directly to request a service?
A: No. All service appointments must be made through the Office [info] via phone or email.
Q: What if I have a complaint or concern about a Member, service appointment, or Volunteer?
A: Let the Office know [info] about your concern. We will look into your concern and respond as soon as possible.
Q: How much do I tip a Volunteer?
A: Volunteers don’t accept tips, but do appreciate a heartfelt “thank you”!
Q: Is there any vetting for Volunteer drivers?
A: Volunteer drivers are required to complete a lengthy course through the National Safety Council, have a background check, and be road-tested by an Eastside Village driver. Further, they must have a safe driving record, a valid driver's license, and auto insurance.
Q: Are Members required to volunteer?
A: Members are not required to volunteer. Many Members do volunteer in so many ways, such as by providing services, running events, sharing their skills and interests, helping in the Office, and serving on the Governing Council. That’s how we make our Village a community!
Q: Do I have to be a Member to volunteer?
A: Many Village Volunteers are not Members. They live in the community, are 18 years or older, and simply want to help Members remain in their homes and community as they age. Non-member Volunteers may attend most social events, but can’t receive services from other Volunteers.
Q: How do I become a Volunteer?
A: Please contact the Office by phone or email [info], or complete an online Volunteer application form [go there]. Volunteers can choose the kinds of services they want to provide and the amount of time they want to commit. All Volunteers must take a 90-minute training and pass a background check. Volunteer drivers also take online training and driving tests to qualify as drivers. Volunteers are covered by the Villages NW liability policy.

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