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Mission & History

Overview and Mission
The Living At Home/Block Nurse Program (LAH/BNP) was initiated by local communities in 1981 to address and change the disjointed nature of services then in place for elders. Community residents came together to discuss the needs of their senior neighbors and what emerged was a unique non-profit program model that coordinates volunteers and health professionals from the community to help their older neighbors stay in their own homes.  Our organization supports Minnesota's community-based non-profit programs that provide local solutions to help seniors live safely and actively in their own communities by providing technical support to programs and by educating our communities about the need to use local resources to create elder-friendly communities .

Early History
In 1981, six women in the St. Anthony Park neighborhood of St. Paul, Minnesota organized the first Block Nurse Program. In 1986-87 four other neighborhoods and communities organized their own Programs (two in St. Paul, one in Minneapolis, and one in Greater Minnesota).

At the same time, the Macalester/Groveland and West 7th neighborhoods of St. Paul were selected to implement the Living at Home Program as part of the National Living at Home Demonstration Project. The two models ultimately were merged to form the Living at Home/Block Nurse Program (LAH/BNP).

Under the leadership of Marjorie Jamieson, RN, one of the original Program founders, the Living at Home/Block Nurse Program, Inc. was established in 1987 as a Minnesota 501(c)(3) organization to:
- promote the LAH/BNP concept, philosophy and values nationwide and
- effect societal change that encourages and supports ongoing neighborhood based health and long-term care for seniors.

Living at Home/Block Nurse Program, Inc. and The Living At Home Network
In 1987, Living at Home/Block Nurse Program, Inc. (LAH/BNP, Inc.) was founded as a technical assistance center to support the growing number of local Programs. With funding support from a number of local and national foundations, replication materials were created and disseminated, resulting in more communities with LAH/BNPs.  Malcolm Mitchell provided leadership during the period of growth that included the establishment of  Elderberry Institute in 1997 as the education and outreach arm for LAH/BNPs. In 2002, to help differentiate our program from the local LAH/BNPs, "Elderberry Institute" was officially adopted as the new name of the LAH/BNP, Inc. organization.

As funding for new initiatives became less available and the needs of the local programs moved back to the forefront of our mission, Elderberry Institute adapted to meet new challenges. In 2010 local programs met to restructure  the organization and The "Living At Home Network" emerged as a streamlined service center focused on the needs of our current and future community based programs.  Our current Director, Diane Raff, has a deep knowledge of the strengths and challenges faced by our local programs, having directed one of our local member programs for over fifteen years. The Living At Home Network works to support Minnesota's community-based non-profit programs that provide local solutions to help seniors live safely and actively in their own communities.  We provide technical support to new and on-going programs, access to training, insurance and other tools essential to helping these programs thrive.  During the first two years years we secured state funding for all 36 of our local programs and the first ever increase in the state funds each program receives.  We have offered top quality training to our programs featuring regional experts in grant writing, financial planning, budgeting and cash-flow management, and fundraising. We host an annual All-Site Gathering which features training sessions for administrators, board members and program staff. We also use our gathering to get input from the people who put our mission into action on the on-going work of adapting the network to the needs of the local programs.