Fifteen years ago Brenda Eheart was starting a community for parents adopting foster children and was negotiating to get 12 homes on a former Air Force base in Rantoul, Illinois. "Instead, I got 80. So I thought, 'Maybe we could have retirees move into the neighborhood and offer reduced rent in exchange for helping with the kids.' " Today, Hope Meadows is a widely regarded model for intergenerational life and Eheart, 65, is helping to replicate it across the country, thanks to $8 million in grants from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation. "At Hope Meadows everything is about assets," says the foundation's Ted Chen. "What do older people have to give kids? How do kids help seniors? It's a win-win."
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