Supportive Services Programs in Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities. NORC Services Program Funding

Sustaining funding for the NORC services programs after the AoA grant funds run out is a challenge all sites will face. At the moment, most funding sources for the sites' programs are external to the NORC, including AoA, HUD, private foundations, and funding from the community service organizations themselves or their own fundraising efforts. The current AoA grants total $3.7 million across the sites, distributed as follows: Baltimore, $1 million; Cleveland, $987,000; Philadelphia, $200,000; Pittsburgh, $200,000; and St. Louis, $1.26 million. Each site provided matching funds at a ratio of $1 local dollar to $3 federal dollars.

External fundraising is in a very early stage in most grantee sites. Staff report approaching local foundations and governments as well as state governments. Initial reactions to these approaches have been positive, according to grantee staff, but no concrete plans for ongoing financial support have resulted to date.

Some programs have been able to attract internal funding in the form of residents' fees or activity costs (Baltimore and Cleveland) and building managers and co-op fees (Cleveland and Philadelphia). In Cleveland and Philadelphia, the ability to generate internal funding might reflect the fact that both programs have been around for some time and have built up credibility with the property managers and owners. Alternatively, the programs may have been able to remain in existence and become a trusted source of services because they have an internal source of funds. Cleveland's approach provides a good example of using external funding to attract internal funding that will sustain the program over the longer term. Cleveland's Community Options used a HUD grant to set up its initial program in 1995 and then approached building managers after one year of operation to request a contribution. The managers pay for supplies and the salaries of the resource coordinators and offer free office and activity room space because they view the program as a valuable resource for their tenants. Residents pay the cost of their activities themselves, suggesting that they too value the program. The five Cleveland subgrantee sites plan to follow this model after their first year of program operation.

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