When a group of low-income senior citizens in Washington, DC realize the issue of isolation is tearing apart their community, they decide to address the problems through the process of community organizing.
In early 2013, AARP Foundation launched a pilot program in the Fort Lincoln neighborhood of Washington, DC, to develop an innovative, community-based solution to isolation using a new model known as Engaged Living Associations. Rather than target those who are isolated and try to “fix their problem,” the effort in Fort Lincoln was designed to build and strengthen the community more broadly.
With support from the Foundation and professional facilitators, a steering committee was formed of some 20 senior residents from the dozen housing clusters that make up Fort Lincoln. The committee began to talk about what isolation meant to them, what they cared most deeply about, and how they thought they could best engage isolated seniors in their own community. In the process, the model built a team of active leaders who would help create a sense of purpose and empowerment amongst their fellow community members. The steering committee called their new group Project S.I.N.G. (seniors in isolation needing guidance), and established their own mission statement: “Project S.I.N.G. is a community endeavor of the Fort Lincoln area that serves as the guiding force to inspire and motivate seniors into an active, stimulating, continuous lifestyle.”
The PROJECT SING story follows the participants' work to engage neighbors and overcome limited organizing experience, limited funding, and skeptics in the community. Project SING tells a story about the power of community, perseverance, and people taking control of their lives during their ‘third chapter’ of life. The current demo offers an early glimpse into the story, community members and issues that will be profiled in a longer-form documentary, to be released in 2017.
Director: Brandon Kramer
Producer: Lance Kramer
Cinematographers: Brandon Kramer, Ellie Walton
Assistant Director: Jen Quintana
Editor: Ellie Walton
Sound: Jen Quintana
Music: Sam McCormally
Production Assistants: Zoe Schein, Jasmine Bright
To make a donation to PROJECT SING:
Silver Spring, MD 20910