N4 brings the community village model to Nevada. It is similar to the successful “senior village” movement nationwide but for people of all ages and abilities. N4 facilitates neighborly connection with time banking, transportation support, volunteer programs, and meaningful social activities for everyone in our region.
N4 is an innovative new nonprofit organization in Washoe County and is Nevada’s first community village – similar to the senior villages found nationwide. We are implementing fully inclusive (not just for seniors) programs consisting of a time bank for exchanging services, information & referral to existing community resources, meaningful social activities, and a volunteer program (to include a ride program). Development of N4 first started in July 2015 after being awarded a federal grant for designing a promising solution for meeting the transportation needs of people with physical and developmental disabilities (DD), seniors, veterans, low income families, and others living in Northern Nevada as a way to increase citizens’ access to healthcare.
While the N4 project is constructed on the premise of full community inclusion (open to all citizens), key project staff have established strategic partnerships with local aging and disability programs. Program coordinators use an Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) approach with each participant to discover their strengths and abilities, as well as pull from existing paid and unpaid (natural) supports in order to assist people with exchanging services within the village time bank.
People with disabilities and seniors are at the highest risk for isolation and poor health outcomes. Our social program component is an important part of the core values of N4. It’s about breaking service silos and teaching people about reciprocity. The current service system is based on deficits and dependence where people do not know their worth, and often programs do not understand the importance of human connection. N4 isn’t going to be successful because it leads people to more services. N4 is going to be successful because it leads people to people.
Another important aspect of the N4 core values is to target diversity issues. We strive to obtain a membership pool that is representative of the citizens of Washoe County. Cultural sensitivity and attention to income barriers increases the ability for all community members to participate. N4 materials are translated into Spanish and interpreters and sign language professionals will be accessed, as needed. N4 will keep accessibility as a top priority to sustain social equity and full inclusion.