About the Age-Friendly Mini-Grant Program
The Miami-Dade Age-Friendly Initiative awarded five local organizations an Age-Friendly Mini-Grant to help jump-start age-friendly projects across Miami-Dade County. The organizations, which were selected based on their ability to offer a project to meet a community need in an age-friendly domain identified through a survey conducted in 2017, each received a $2,500 award.
Results and experiences of funded projects will help promote age-friendly thinking and action among others. The mix of mini-grants demonstrates that municipal governments, nonprofits, universities, faith groups, and others can play important roles in making Miami-Dade age-friendly. The recipients are Baptist Health South Florida, Dade Heritage Trust, Florida International University, North Bay Village and Youth Co-Op.
Meet the 2018 Mini-Grantees!
Baptist Health South Florida
In an effort to improve quality of life for residents who have preventable hospital readmissions, West Kendall Baptist Hospital has launched a Promotores de Salud (PDS) initiative through Healthy West Kendall to bridge the gap between underserved community members and the resources necessary to live a healthy life. With the support for the mini-grant, the project is leveraging partnerships in the community, including the faith-based community, to engage community health worker volunteers to support patients in need of additional assistance once they transition home. In addition, the hospital partnering with Papa, an on-demand service that connects students and young adults with seniors in need of companionship. There are several long-term impacts, such as starting the conversation on the effects of social isolation and remove the stigma of asking for help. The hope is to reduce unnecessary readmissions as patients will have the support as they transition home. (Age-Friendly Domains: Transportation, Community Support & Health Services)
Dade Heritage Trust
Founded in 1972, Dade Heritage Trust is Miami-Dade County’s largest historic preservation organization. Dade Heritage Trust’s mission is to preserve the Miami-Dade community’s architectural, environmental and cultural heritage through education and advocacy. The Miami-Dade Age-Friendly Initiative mini-grant is benefiting Dade Heritage Trust’s project that will focus on building civic engagement in the West Grove. Dade Heritage Trust is leveraging the development of a community food garden and funding from the National Trust for Historic Preservation to provide programming to older adults and engage them in urban gardening, exercise, cooking skills, and social interaction. The project is expected to impact over 400 older adults.(Age-Friendly Domains: Social Participation, Community Support & Health Services)
Florida International University
FIU is a metropolitan public research university in Miami, FL. The Mini-Grant helped kick-start a collaborative project between FIU’s Physical Therapy, Interior and Landscape Architecture, Environmental and Urban Design, and Computer Science departments to redesign Miami’s Underline Park under the Metrorail to be more “age-friendly”. The research project focused on the Underline Coconut Grove Station and 10 older adults (60+ years old) who lived 2 miles from the site. Virtual and augmented-reality were utilized to re-image and reconstruct the space based on input from older adults living in the community, in order to assess environmental features for the redesign of a public space. Functional (mobility-related), behavioral and environmental attributes such as physical/visual accessibility and psychophysiological facilitators such as relaxation and motivation were also assessed. Evidence-based solutions for active aging will be provided to redesign the space to match older adults’ preferences and capabilities to effect active lifestyles. Participants are likely to become advocates for public space in their community. Leveraging this mini-grant, FIU received a small pilot study grant to initiate the project and purchase some of the equipment that was used during this phase of direct older involvement. Thousands of individuals will be impacted if the recommendations are put in place. (Age-Friendly Domains: Transportation, Outdoor Spaces & Buildings, Respect & Social Inclusion)
North Bay Village
North Bay Village has created a small computer lab in the lobby of the Village Hall Building that incorporates a health and wellness campaign for older adults. The village partnered with Elite Health, a private health organization across from the city hall that is providing free community space and staffing to assist older adults as needed on the computers. As a result, the North Bay Village has also partnered with a local staffing agency in order to have students available at set times to teach residents how to utilize the technology and access the information they need. Village staff and volunteers instruct residents on how to pay bills on-line; navigate the Village and Miami-Dade County websites; access information concerning health management or free/low cost medications; or creating social media accounts to remain connected to loved ones. (Age-Friendly Domains: Communication & Information, and Social Participation)
Youth Co-Op, Inc.
Youth Co-Op is a private non-profit whose mission is to promote the social well-being of individuals in South Florida through education, employment, and empowerment. In partnership with the Miami-Dade Age-Friendly Initiative, Youth Co-Op has created a computer training lab for older adults to use in searching for employment as well as to use for training for learning new technology, and upgrading and/or learning new skills in Microsoft Office. As of January 2019, 61 job seekers 50 years old or over had received computer literacy through direct instructor-led classes. The computer lab will continue to be used for this purpose and will leverage AARP Foundation’s Back to Work Program to pay for costs related to instructor salary and class materials in the future. This project offers older adults opportunities to increase their success in reaching financial stability. (Age-Friendly Domain: Civic Participation & Employment)
Interested in submitting an idea? Check out the 2019 Mini-Grant Program here!