TREEHOUSE INTERGENERATIONAL COMMUNITY

Easthampton

A neighborhood with purpose

The Treehouse Community in Easthampton, MA is an intentional, intergenerational neighborhood designed to provide a supportive environment for children who have been through the child welfare system and the families who are parenting them. Engaged older adult community members, on-site staff, and customized programs for all ages promote the development of enduring relationships across the generations, giving children the stability and support they need to heal and thrive.

child and adult walking backlit by sun, Easthampton, MA Treehouse community

Support, joy, and a commitment to the community
Opened in 2006, Treehouse Easthampton is a neighborhood for all ages, centered on a shared commitment: supporting children leaving foster care and their foster or adoptive families. Nestled in the rolling hills of western Massachusetts, there are rental homes for families and apartments for older adults.

Everyone engages in the life of the village
Family and older-adult homes are interspersed around Treehouse Circle so the generations can easily connect and create trusting bonds. Children get honorary grandparents, families are surrounded by supportive neighbors, and older residents feel a renewed sense of purpose.

Kindness and connection are key
At Treehouse, everybody knows your name, kids can be kids, and one of the honorary grandmothers is often in the big kitchen baking a treat for after school. Front porches are for visiting, and there’s plenty of green space for kids to play. The common areas are busy with programs, classes, kids’ homework, and community meals.

“I moved to Treehouse because I want to make a difference. I’m a teacher. Treehouse offers me a way to continue being a valuable resource to kids and families.”

— Treehouse Easthampton resident

Easthampton Programs

Our on-site staff collaborates on community-wide programs designed intentionally to help form trusting relationships across the generations.

Tailored programs that consider trauma experiences and coaching for skills needed in both life and work are provided to make sure we meet the evolving needs of our young people. Our goal is to prepare them for a successful transition into adulthood.

Out-of-school and after-school help

Homework help

Summer camp

Specialized trauma-informed programs

Job and life skills training

Classes in art, movement, yoga, music

Community meals, teas, and holiday celebrations

“I never saw myself as an artist. After I retired as a Psych Nurse and when my husband passed away, I could not imagine living alone. I discovered Treehouse and discovered through doing shared activities with the kids, that I actually like poetry and can take joy in painting. Best of all, when I feel lonely, I go to the community center and a neighbor’s kid will walk up to me and warmly greet me with ‘Grandma!’ and give me a hug.”

— Suzanne, Treehouse Easthampton Resident

Spaces Designed to Promote Connections

Community members gather indoors and out because the entire plan is meant for interactions.

Easthampton includes:
– The Treehouse Community Center
– Library
– Large community kitchen
– Playgrounds
– Community garden
– Common outdoor patio
– A rolling green meadow for kites, dogs, sports, and play

Frequently asked questions about Treehouse Easthampton

How was Easthampton, MA chosen as the site of the first Treehouse community?

The Easthampton area of Western Massachusetts has a disproportionately high number of children and young people in foster care. We chose a location where we felt we could do the most good.

How do I apply to live at Treehouse?
Interested in living at Treehouse? Contact us if you have questions. The application form is hosted on the Beacon Communities site,  you can find it here.
How big is Treehouse Easthampton?

The community is made up of 60 affordable rental homes for families and older adults 55+.

Who lives at Treehouse?

Residents at Treehouse Easthampton are families who foster or adopt children from foster care and people over 60 who are interested in being good neighbors and — most importantly — “foster grandparents” to the children and families. Treehouse is built around a strong community bond, so all residents should commit to being deeply involved in the rich day-to-day interactions that are a big part of nurturing and healing the children we serve. 

What's Treehouse's relationship to the region?

We’re heavily involved in the region as a resource. As one part of our goal to raise awareness statewide, we train college interns — majors in social work, arts, education, public policy, and psychology — who experience the many ways we have learned to best serve the needs of children and families in this unique intergenerational setting. We also work closely with regional social service agencies, arts organizations and nonprofits.

Do you collaborate with outside organizations?

The Community model is based on partnership and a blend of public/private investment and resources. Consistent with our commitment to collaboration and sustainability, we are in partnership with a property developer/manager, Beacon Communities LLC, and Berkshire Children and Families, a licensed social service agency that provices foster- and adoption-informed services on site. Treehouse serves as founder, driving foster care innovation and leading program development. The efforts and resources of all three organizations are strengthened by partnerships with Treehouse Community members including parents, youth and elders.

May I come visit?

Absolutely! We offer scheduled tours twice a month. To schedule a tour, please contact us.

How do I find out about starting a Treehouse Community in my area?

Get in touch! We’ll walk you through our Treehouse Community Model Framework. We’ve compiled data and a working process based on what we’ve learned since 2006 when Treehouse Easthampton opened.