Aging by the Numbers

The Baby Boomer generation numbers 76 million. Every day, 10,000 Baby Boomers turn 65.  This will continue until 2030.  — Census Bureau

More than 190,000 people aged 65 and older were living in the Portland metro area as of the 2010 census. By 2030, that number is expected to grow to almost 395,000. — Greater Portland Pulse

Planning Team

The North Star Village Planning Team is a group of enthusiastic, like-minded neighbors living within our Village service area who are devoted to creating a virtual Village that will offer a much-needed service to our aging-in-place members and community. 

We are the decision-makers—the Village Founders—volunteers all —engaged in the early stages of Village development. 

The Planning Team comes together each month to discuss and decide on the policies, services, programs and activities that will be in place when we launch in three to four years.  We also are involved in community outreach and special events that build community and raise funds.  All Planning Team members are invested in creating an inclusive, stable and sustainable Village to serve members who choose to stay put—with a little help—in the homes they cherish and the neighborhoods they love. The team is supported by our Villages NW mentor, Dr. Alison Bahr.

Prior to joining the Planning Team, interested people attend an introductory presentation (Village at Home, aka Village 101) so that team members can work effectively, making well-informed and thoughtful decisions. 

For more information on the planning before us, go to Development Phase.  For meeting time, location, agenda and minutes, go to Planning Team Meetings.                                Top

meet our Village VOLUNTEERS

Anjala Ehelebe Planning Team Chair

Anjala Ehelebe
Planning Team Chair

So many people are disconnected from their neighbors and feel lonely.  Other people have disabilities or find it hard to perform certain tasks. Virtual villages like North Star will be can provide solutions to these problems.

I lived with a disabled husband for eleven years, and, for him, simple things like going up and down stairs and catching the pets to take them to the vet became difficult if not impossible.  Over time it became harder and harder for me, and additional help, volunteer help, would have been so helpful in reducing the stress on both of us.

The promise of a virtual Village is to give you a community of friends and volunteers to help you live happily and safely in your house as long as you want to. It is an extremely economical service provided locally and I think its social and physical benefits can multiply.

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Iris Wernher

Iris Wernher

I first learned about the Village movement through Portland State University's Institute on Aging where I currently work as a graduate research assistant. I was instantly fascinated by this innovative and forward-looking concept. Out of curiosity, I started to attend the Planning Team meetings of what was, back then, referred to as "the Village serving North Portland and beyond." What can I say... I got hooked in no time flat. And I have truly been enjoying the process of creating and shaping "our" North Star Village, side by side with a wonderful little crowd of visionary and inspirational people who are eager to stand up, set out, and get their feet wet for the sake of their own and other people's future.

As a PhD student with an emphasis in gerontology, I certainly bring my academic interest and background to the planning table. I’m actively involved in the Age-Friendly Portland initiative and love to see and understand what’s happening in and around our communities. However, I primarily see my role in this exciting endeavor as that of a passionate North Portland resident who—like my fellow Villagers—believes in reciprocity, community, and the far-ranging power of a shared vision.


Sigrid Kellenter

Sigrid Kellenter

Living in a Village means to me: to help support through times of abundance and be supported through times of need.”   


Vicky Kirk

Vicky Kirk

The Village movement in Portland in growing strong and North Star Village is seated at the table offering strong leadership and dedication. The services that North Star Village will provide are more than needed, and in my view imperative as Boomers age.

For my part, I'm a problem solver. I like to ignite ideas and then bring them to fruition. After caring for my aging family and witnessing the many challenges seniors face, I have chosen to put my talents to work to help seniors. My experience ranges from project management, communications, graphic design, volunteer engagement, and fundraising.

Alison Bahr Villages NW Board

Alison Bahr
Villages NW Board

I am not technically a member of the planning group but attend their meetings as a Villages NW Board liaison. Working with individual Villages inspires me as Board member because the work we do supports entities that are distinctive in their own characteristics and energy. Each Village is the detail that rewards the work I put in for the infrastructure, and every detail is engaging and compelling.

Other VolunteersAnna Johnson, Arva Carlson, Cheri Tessler, David Kidd, Elizabeth Kennedy, Marianne LaBarre, Mary Rouse, Mitch Halfpenny, Pamela Jeanne, Peg O'Rourke, Resa Boxell, Sharon Bishop, Steve Whitson.                          Top

mindset of Founders

  • They are planners who have decided to be proactive about their future.

  • They want to age in place in their own neighborhoods.

  • They believe in volunteering & being of service.

  • They are committed to building & nurturing community.

  • They see the value/importance of creating something that provides benefits for more than just themselves and their families.

  • They are willing to work, frequently over a period of years, to bring their vision to fruition.

  • They are not in denial about aging.

  • They want choices in their elder living & care options.

  • They do not believe that Medicare will meet all their needs.

  • They do not expect—or want—“experts” to solve their problems.

  • They are aware of their collective buying power and intend to control how and when services are delivered.

  • They are willing to pay a reasonable price for the services they need to age in place, but expect them to be affordable, rather than priced out of most people’s reach.                 Top

Characteristics of Founders

  • Committed workers. People who are willing to roll up their sleeves and do what needs to be done over a long period of time (2-5 years).
  • Intelligent risk-takers. People who are creative and entrepreneurial, who have a willingness to experiment, who learn from trial and error, and who can commit to keep going despite setbacks until they find a workable solution.
  • Good at negotiation & relationship building. People who are comfortable approaching and vetting potential allies and partners and negotiating mutually beneficial relationships.
  • Live inside the Village service area. While you don’t have to be a long-time resident (and some new residents actually bring a valuable perspective), Village Founders need to live within the village boundaries. It’s also useful to have representatives from many different neighborhoods within the Village serving on the planning group.
  • Nonprofit experience and professional expertise. Experience in the nonprofit sector or on local nonprofit boards or neighborhood associations. Expertise in community activism, fundraising, recruiting & managing volunteers, and founding/managing start-ups & small businesses. People who are good at research and working with data. A real estate agent, a lawyer, a financial advisor/analyst, bookkeeper/accountant, advisors from the university/academic world. People with experience with aging relatives or professional experience working with this population.
  • People who are comfortable with money and fundraising.  Can give or get. Will approach potential sponsors for fundraising events. Will seek out grants and other funding opportunities.
  • People with community connections. Know lots of people in the area, like to make connections. Can connect the Village with “high credibility/influence” local people to get behind the project and/or have local media connections
  • People with communications expertise including website, PR, marketing, and promotional materials design.
  • People who “play well with others” and enjoy working collaboratively.
  • People who reflect the age, gender, class, economic, and ethnicity mix of the Village.                                              Top