Logistics and Staffing

Jump to: DEVELOPING A Timeline | Staffing Your Program | Budgeting

Logistics: Use of Physical Space, Scheduling, and Transportation

The term “logistics” refers to the following details associated with implementing your program. It includes the following issues.

  • Space for programming:
    What kinds of outdoor and indoor spaces could be used to foster cross-age interaction? For example, how might you use a community room, courtyard, land for gardening, or walking paths to promote cross-age interactions?
  • Time and duration of the program:
    Can your program occur on a weekday, or do you have to hold it in the evening or on the weekend? What time works best for residents and youth?
  • Transportation:
    Do you have a van to help transport residents and youth? Are you or your partner near public transportation? Are there any potential partners that have meeting space within walking distance of your housing community?
  • Liability:
    Are you aware of liability issues associated with having guests visit your community? For example, check with appropriate staff at your organization to see if there are spaces within the community that are off-limits to guests who do not have appropriate consent or clearance. These spaces might include kitchens or exercise rooms.
  • Background checks:
    Are your participants required to have background checks to work with children or older adults? Have you allocated money in your budget to cover the cost of these checks?
  • Photo releases:
    Does each participant need to sign a photo release for every activity, or can you obtain one photo release during your first activity that will be valid for all subsequent activities?

Address these logical issues with your supervisor upfront, and ask about how to contact the organization’s legal or human relations department as questions arise along the way.

Developing a Timeline

Developing a timeline can help you organize the tasks you need to accomplish before your program begins. It’s best to develop the timeline in concert with your partner organization so everyone can better understand who is responsible for each task.

Note: When developing your timeline, think about how school holidays, semester breaks, and summer vacations might impact the program’s start and dates.

Staffing Your Program

Staff Roles

Planning and implementing meaningful intergenerational programming requires considerable staff time. Although few housing communities have staff dedicated to intergenerational work, many communities have used existing staff and volunteers to integrate intergenerational programming into their overall activity plan.

Housing Staff: Housing staff members often work together to implement intergenerational programming. Depending on the housing organization, this might include the volunteer coordinator, activity director, and staff from such departments as:

  • Life Enrichment.
  • Marketing.
  • Outreach.
  • Transportation.


Make sure all staff in your community are aware when intergenerational activities are occurring, and which visitors will be on the premises.

Solicit feedback from staff and address any issues they raise.

For example, if your maintenance staff reports that the flower beds near the front door have been trampled, you may need to establish some rules about walking only on designated walkways.

Co-located Staff: Campus-based housing properties are sometimes located on the same property with either a school or child care center. These housing communities often leverage staff from both sites to assist with intergenerational programming. Co-location models often have an intergenerational focus and may hire outside consultants to implement on-site activities.

Partner Staff: Make sure you identify a key contact or point person at the partner organization who can help you recruit youth or implement the intergenerational program. Staff at your partner organization should be involved in planning and facilitating activities.

Volunteers: Many housing communities have harnessed the talents and skills of volunteers to help with new programs or fill unmet needs. Here are a few examples:

  • Youth volunteers go door-to-door to help recruit and remind residents to participate in intergenerational programs.
  • Adult residents in multifamily public housing help to coordinate various intergenerational programs.
  • Work-study and/or service-learning students provide on-site technology and language assistance to staff.

Staffing Challenges

  • Lack of dedicated staff for intergenerational programming: Developing intergenerational activities is only one small part of a staff person’s job in most housing communities. Even long-standing programs with dedicated staff never assign more than 1.5 staff members to work exclusively on intergenerational programming.
  • Lack of enthusiasm from other housing staff: Housing staff who are not directly involved with the program may perceive children and young people to be disruptive.
  • Competing demands: Members of the housing staff may not view additional programming as their top priority due to competing demands.

Remember to…

  • Train/orient staff at partner organizations about the needs of each population, how participants will benefit from intergenerational interactions, and effective strategies and activities for fostering meaningful cross-age interaction.
  • Use the volunteer coordinator or outreach manager to develop partnerships and oversee intergenerational-related work.
  • Recruit and train “lead” volunteers who can help with activities.
  • Include the marketing department in planning so it can promote the program as a housing community asset.


Outlining your budgetary needs on a spreadsheet or cost tracker will help you plan better for future activities and programs, and will help you apply for a grant or request additional funds from your housing organization. Here’s a sample budget that you can use as a guideline.