Hope & a Future
If we continue to see our population of older adults as a burden, we will miss the resource that they are.
Karin is the Executive Director and Founder of Hope & A Future. Karin and her friend Paula Reif began working on the vision for a Therapeutic Interactive Intergenerational Neighborhood (TIIN) model in 2003.
Karin graduated from the UW School of Nursing in 1979-- intending to improve long term care models. She already knew that engaging older adults with younger people could benefit both age groups. This awareness came from her own life. At the age of 8, her father suddenly died, leaving her with a very stressed mother and brother. A neighborhood grandmother became a lifeline.
However, as life would have it, the family had to move. She was leaving the supportive neighborhood grandmother. Anxiety and too much responsibility at the age of 9 caused Karin to go from a high achieving student to one that did not learn for three years. In time, life improved for Karin. Though, she realized that is not true for everyone.
Later as a nursing supervisor, Karin worked with many young parents who were unable to afford safe care for their children while they worked. One evening Karin learned that a co-worker had three children in a car in the parking lot while she worked. Two were in diapers. Seeing those frightened children in the car brought back painful memories.
That night the idea of creating a staffed intentional intergenerational neighborhood setting came to her. Karin finally decided to work on the vision with a friend that is a family life educator. They began developing the ideas for the TIIN in 2002 without resources or know-how. Their successes have come with the help of a community of experts who offered pro bono support to develop the first TIIN model in Madison. Volunteers of all ability levels are an essential part of the business model. At Hope & a Future, she currently runs an award-winning Adult Family Home that relies on volunteers of all ages and ability levels.
Karin currently works as the Executive Director of Hope & A Future in Madison, Wisconsin. While developing the TIIN model and business plan for Hope & A Future, Karin ran Intergenerational House out of her private residence for 12 years. Her AFH was the pilot for long term support for frail older adults in need of financial assistance in the state of Wisconsin. Karin is also a CNA instructor. Dedicated to the idea that interactive support for struggling young families and older adults can be of mutual benefit, Karin has a considerable background in program development. She has worked in a variety of educational and health care settings, as well as multigenerational programs she has run in her home.
Karin believes that “If we continue to see our population of older adults as a burden, we will miss the resource that they are.” At Hope & A Future, the social and financial model utilizes volunteers of all ages. Intentional intergenerational exchange is a potential growing experience for people of all ages and backgrounds! It is Karin’s hope that more non-profits will begin to look at their volunteer needs with an intergenerational lense!
Hope & a Future
Hope & A Future is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. They are nearing the end of Phase I of a four-phase development for intergenerational community development. Hope & A Future takes a fresh look at the two fastest-growing populations—seniors and young families in poverty. We provide a staffed Therapeutic, Interactive, Intergenerational Neighborhoods (TIIN).
Upon completion, this model will provide frail senior care, independent senior housing, and affordable housing for young families in need. Young families need more than just affordable housing but mentoring and support to improve their earning power and family living skills. The neighborhood will use a bartering system—so everyone is both helped and a helper. Nursing care, life skill counselors, and a variety of healthy, fun, and creative activities, including gardening programs, are a part of neighborhood life. This model sees aging baby boomers as an untapped resource for many of societies intractable social problems.
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This event will be hosted at
Monona Terrace, 1 John Nolen Drive, Madison, WI