"Our first question to the client should not be...What problems bring you here today, but rather...You've lived thus far, how have you done it?"
- Bertha Capen Reynolds, 1951
Founded in 1980 and incorporated in 1981, Neighborhood Self Help by Older Persons Project, Inc. (SHOPP) is a non-profit multiservice agency, serving over 5,000 Hispanic, African-American and West Indian-Caribbean and other older Bronx residents a year. While our central office is located in Bronx Community Board District 2, we have 35 off site service locations in almost every community board district in the Bronx.
The purposes of Neighborhood SHOPP, as set forth in the agency's By-Laws are:
As a strength-based organization, Neighborhood Self-Help by Older Persons Project's (SHOPP) mission is based on the philosophy of self-help and mutual assistance. We believe that older people are resilient, that they are capable of helping themselves and others improve their capacity to deal with the physical, emotional, social and financial challenges they face as they age. Using the strengths perspective encourages Neighborhood SHOPP staff to incorporate the strengths of our clients, families, friends and community to make independent living a possibility. Furthermore, we believe that informal social systems of support, defined as structured human attachments among kin, neighbors, friends and members of voluntary associations, are crucial in providing a buffer against the negative consequences of aging and environmental stressors.
Neighborhood SHOPP's philosophy of self-help and mutual assistance is translated into programs which empower older persons through knowledge, support, stimulation and motivation. With Neighborhood SHOPP's involvement, older persons are provided with opportunities to achieve their potential by strengthening their social support systems, improving their quality of life and becoming stakeholders in their own communities.