George’s idea is a good and noble one, but it doesn’t really solve the question. I mean, of course any group of friends—even internet forum friends—can chip in to help one another in a pinch. The question is how one institutionalizes this, though ... or whether it’s even possible to do so.
There are various smaller, secular/religious organizations such as the Society for Ethical Culture or the Unitarian Universalists that are large enough to be legitimate support institutions with buildings and congregations. At one time I wondered if CFI could approach such a thing, though without the religious trappings. Now I am more skeptical, and Gary’s OP raises the question of whether some religious trappings are even essential to the project. I.e. perhaps liturgy and ritual (let’s hope not ‘theology’) is what’s necessary to make a loose group of friends into a larger institution ...
Worth a thought.
I think the important point is to get people together on a regular basis; its how social networks are built and expand.