What is Communities for All Ages?

Communities for All Ages (CFAA) is a vision, a lens, and a framework for creating communities that are good places for growing up and growing older.

  • The VISION imagines places which intentionally engage people of all ages in a broad range of civic, educational, cultural and other activities, draws on their assets, and provides quality support over the life span.
  • The LENS is a way of thinking that values diversity and supports interdependence and shared fate – encouraging alliances rather than competition for resources that benefit people across the life span.
  • The FRAMEWORK is a way of acting – using collaborative, intergenerational, and effective community change strategies to improve the outcomes for all community residents, particularly vulnerable children, families and elders.

The CFAA Model

The Communities for All Ages model was developed in 2000 in response to major demographic changes and the growth in community-building initiatives that identified themselves as “elder friendly” or “child/youth friendly.”

Focus groups and a literature review revealed that people of different generations wanted many of the same things – a safe place to live, affordable housing, quality education, opportunities for lifelong learning and recreational activities, economic security, and a sense of belonging and purpose. CFAA represents a new approach to community building that intentionally brings diverse age groups together to address issues that affect people at all stages of life.

CFAA in Arizona

In 2002, Arizona Community Foundation (ACF) partnered with The Intergenerational Center to test the Communities for All Ages framework. Six sites across Arizona were selected to participate in a three-year pilot initiative. The early outcomes from the pilot project convinced ACF to expand its efforts and support a second round of grantmaking for five new sites.

HD SOUTH - Bringing the CFAA model to Gilbert

Communities for All Ages represents a new approach to community building that intentionally brings diverse age groups together to address issues that affect people at all stages of life. Gilbert’s demographic make-up is ideally suited to the CFAA model, with 37% of the town’s population under 19 years of age, and 25% over 50 years old.

By adopting the CFAA model, HD SOUTH aims to bring our community together to grow, learn, & play through the arts, culture, programs & history in one historic location in Gilbert, Arizona.

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