Among the multiple issues faced by the most vulnerable people in our society, one of the most debilitating is isolation and loneliness. This is especially true for people with disabilities and frail older adults who often lack the social supports and relationships necessary to maintain a good quality of life. Personal support networks that allow people to collaborate in support of a loved one have proven beneficial. The purpose of this project is to develop and test an innovative, cost-effective approach to creating personal support networks by using web-based technology. "Tyze" is a social networking web service that will provide a range of features to support relationships among network members, as well as logistical and process support. The pilot will be conducted in three sites, two of which will be selected from among RWJF's Community Partnerships for Older Adults grantees. The project will: train 4-5 network facilitators per site; develop 35-40 networks using the web service at each site; gather statistics and stories of site usage; produce a report on project outcomes for dissemination to relevant organizations and policy makers; and develop a business plan for the web service as a social enterprise that can generate a sustainable source of funding. The project is in line with the Foundation's goal of identifying and testing promising new approaches to address the health challenges faced by vulnerable people. Project oversight will be provided by an intermediary organization, the Tides Canada Foundation, a public charity with tax-exempt classification in the U.S.
Amount Awarded $398,273.00
Awarded on: 10/31/2007
Time frame: 12/1/2007 - 2/28/2009
Grant Number: 62707