Important note: This recommendation was approved by the Board of Supervisors on June 28, 2016:

DISTRICT 2 (Supervisor Carole Groom) FY 2015-17 Measure A Request

Foster City Village, Inc.: Expansion of Programs and Services for Senior Citizens $30,000 total

This is a request to authorize a $30,000 grant to Foster City Village, Inc. for the term July 1, 2016, through June 30, 2017, to expand programs and services for senior citizens served by Foster City Village, Inc. The proposed grant agreement will be administered and managed by the Health System’s Aging and Adult Services Division.


In mid-2011, Patricia Player Maxwell brought the concept of the Village to the Foster City Senior Citizens’ Advisory Committee. With the assistance and collaboration of a variety of community stakeholders, the Foster City Village was first incorporated in February of 2012.

Building on the success of the Foster City Village, the group was able to encourage and facilitate founding of the Mid-Peninsula Village (San Mateo, Burlingame and Hillsborough) shortly thereafter. Foster City continues to be a driving force in the Village movement and remains actively supportive of the two newest Villages.


The Foster City Village now has been in operation for over three years, providing services to local senior citizens since officially opening its doors to members on February 14, 2013. The average age of the members is 80 years. Since the opening of the Village, the organization has assisted more than 100 seniors, but this represents only 5% of the eligible population - and less than 1% of the Foster City Asian   population. The census of 2010 shows a predominance of elder Asian Americans living within the 94404 area code served by the Foster City Village. Of the over 1,800 Foster City residents older than 74 years of age, 43% of these are identified as Asian  American. To help rectify this situation and encourage more diverse community outreach, Foster City Village is seeking to expand the Village’s support and assistance to encompass the currently under-served minority senior citizens of our diverse community.

Reaching out to this community is a key facet of the program’s expansion with the proposed Measure A funds. Success in attaining the goal of expanded outreach and diversity will be accomplished through a combination of these strategies: the translation of the organization’s brochures and other key Village information; hiring and training of Asian volunteers; education of the members of these other communities; and establishing the Foster City Village as a type of “hub” to coordinate the delivery of expanded support. Consideration of hiring an Intern will also be given. Engaging committed dual-language volunteers will help the Village provide information and collateral as well as activities of interest to this community and the same level of support presently provided to the Village’s current membership.


The following performance measures will be used to track progress on the impact of these grant funds:

  • Outreach documents including brochures, member sign-up and volunteer forms, activity calendar and website will be translated into Chinese to increase access to monolingual Chinese speaking residents by December 31, 2016.
  • At least 20 Chinese speaking seniors will join the Foster City Village by June 30, 2017.
  • At least 15 bilingual Chinese speaking volunteers will sign-up to serve the Foster City Village community by June 30, 2017.
  • Foster City Village will advertise services in a local Chinese language newspaper at least quarterly through June 30, 2017.
  • At least once monthly, Foster City Village will focus Village activities integrating cultural diversity and topics (e.g. “Lunch and Learn”) as outreach to the diverse population in Foster City through June 30, 2017.


The proposed expansion of the Village’s outreach will benefit the City of Foster City in several ways. Foster City Village supports older adults as they age in our community, helping them maintain their overall health and wellness, while fostering their active engagement in the community itself. This outreach and support increases the overall livability of Foster City for its senior residents and encourages and helps enable those residents to not only remain in the city, but to do so in their own homes potentially  longer than they otherwise could. The underlying goal is to help guard our Village Members against re-hospitalization, loneliness, depression, hoarding, and the myriad of other connected illnesses which all too often lead to increased mental issues, Dementia and even hospitalization.

A further community benefit to be realized is the potential reduction of infrastructure costs, particularly transportation and social services, incurred in supporting an aging population. The Foster City Village delivers an extensive variety and number of services which are centered on improving the personal care and well-being of its older members.

The general adult population of Foster City also gleans some benefit from the existence and successful operation of Foster City Village. All residents have the opportunity to volunteer to help their senior citizen neighbors. This “neighbor helping neighbor” paradigm promotes tremendous good will and strengthens the overall community infrastructure, while providing an improved sense of community for all residents.

Additionally, the senior residents of Foster City benefit from the improved social connections made possible by the Foster City Village, as well as the use of volunteer- staffed support services that quite often catalyze one’s experiencing a higher quality of life (without having to move from the very city and/or home they truly love).


The Foster City Village is successfully providing programs and services with an all- volunteer workforce. One employee was hired mid-2015 to run the Village office.    There are presently 33 Full-Time Members, 37 Associate Members and 1 Scholarship Member. During March of 2016, the Village provided some 311 services for the membership. Ongoing social activities include monthly “Lunch and Learn” sessions, a Book Club, outings to the Hillbarn Theatre, parties for the membership four times per year, and other “one-off” outings to Filoli, area museums, and more. In partnership with the Foster City Parks and Recreation Department and the Peninsula Jewish Community Center (PJCC), the Village provides opportunities to attend free or low-cost movies and entertainment events at both venues. Please see below for a list of current Programs and Volunteer-Provided Services.


1)      Lunch and Learn events, in collaboration with the Foster City Library. We share lunch and have lively presentations and discussions with the presenters on topics of interest to our members. Some recent sessions saw speakers addressing subjects related to health, safety and the law - all from the perspective of our senior community.

2)      Afternoon Teas and Ice Cream Socials open to Members and their guests, with informal participative discussions.

3)      Special Events including field trips to museums and local points of interest.

4)      Special programs for skills and lifelong learning. In partnership with the Foster City Library, the Village launched a “Digital Mentorship Program”, whereby our Members are mentored (one on one) by a Library employee to enhance their Computer skills and knowledge. Among other topics people are learning how to: safely shop online; use email; and video-chat with distant family and friends.

5)      Mutual Interest Groups are an important part of the Village. We support our members in forming and sustaining mutual interest groups, whether it’s a walking or exercise group, a bridge group, or people wanting to connect to share holidays and activities of their choice.

6)      “Verified Vendors”, local professional and commercial service providers - from hairdressers to electricians and plumbers, care agencies, and contractors who can install safety features in a Member’s home. They’ve been recommended by other Village members, and reviewed to be sure they are appropriately licensed and bonded. Many of our vendors have agreed to provide special senior   pricing to Village Members.


A.       Transportation to and from medical appointments, grocery shopping, as well as general assistance with errands. Among the areas of service are: San Mateo County; Stanford Medical Center; and the Palo Alto VA Hospital.

B.       Light Home Maintenance such as: changing a light bulb so the senior doesn’t have to face the challenge of climbing a ladder; assistance with yard or garage clean-up; gardening assistance; assembling do-it-yourself furniture (from Ikea and elsewhere); and other small home maintenance activities.

C.       Other Assistance such as technical assistance to resolve computer issues or other personal electronics problems. Helping a Member organize important paperwork or shred sensitive personal documents are some other areas of volunteer-provided assistance.

D.      Absence Services for Members who are “out of commission” for a few days include such things as watering plants, taking in the mail, running errands and more

Concierge Services are planned for introduction later in 2016. Among services to be included: use of the Village website to find needed support services resources (both governmental and private) from nearby community and non-profit organizations; paid transportation options; local schedules for entertainment geared toward the senior citizen, and recreational and fitness opportunities or venues.

One of a Village’s key objectives is to provide members with the wherewithal to: attend their MD appointments, more readily obtain their medications, put food on the table, and improve social interaction. Another objective is to help guard the membership against issues that may increase further illness and hospitalizations, all the while helping to generate some personal savings in the cost of health care.

The funds are to be disbursed to Foster City Village, Inc. for these purposes. The total allocation request for Foster City Village, Inc. is $30,000.

The release of funds will be contingent on the execution of an agreement providing for the County’s confirmation of the expenditure of funds during FY 2016-17 for the purposes stated herein.

Important note: This is a copy of the official Board Report -- item eight on the Board's agenda.

Typical Services for Village Members
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