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Goshen mayoral candidates talk about quality of life, housing in Goshen ... - The Elkhart Truth

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Goshen mayoral candidates talk about quality of life, housing in Goshen ...
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Republican mayoral candidate Mary Cripe introduces herself as Democratic candidate Jeremy Stutsman looks on during a forum at Goshen College Monday, Oct. 26. This was the last public forum the candidates participated in before the Nov. 3 elections.

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Bringing the Personal into Personnel

Laird's Blog -

As a group process consultant who works principally with intentional communities, I am aware that the skill set needed to facilitate community meetings is significantly different than what's asked of facilitators in the wider culture. So much so, in fact, that the field is legend with stories of "name" facilitators who are successful in the corporate world and find themselves in over their heads when attempting to ply their craft in community settings.

Why? In broad strokes, the model for how we work in the wider world is restricted to the rational plane (what's your best thinking?). In community, however, that's not good enough. To be sure, thought still counts, but so does a smörgåsbord of other ways of knowing: emotional, intuitive, kinesthetic, and spiritual. While groups may be uneven in their capacity to work well in these other languages, you can count on intentional communities expecting that openings be made for more exotic ways of knowing—ways that are rarely given a seat at the table in corporate settings or, for that matter, in the world of righteous nonprofits (ones doing real work as change agents).

One of the themes of this blog is that intentional communities operate at the cutting edge of social sustainability, by which I mean developing working models of how to reach decisions in a sustainable way. (While what gets decided also matters, I'm shining the light expressly on how in this blog.) 

o  To accomplish this the group needs to operate inclusively, which necessarily means working sure-footedly with multiple modes of information exchange and being able to bridge nimbly among them. Insisting that everyone translates their input into the rational mode as a pre-condition to getting people's attention just doesn't cut it. There are simply too many people for whom rational articulation (in front of a group, no less) is not their long suit.

o  Savvy communities know that when you create an opening for people to share their input or concerns on a topic, that you need to do more than simply collect concepts—you need to know what that input means to the speaker. How close to the bone is that input being held, and how does that relate to group values (as distinct from personal preferences)? Healthy groups learn how to ride the tiger of passionate statements without turning meetings into theatrical performances, or recapitulations of the British House of Commons.

o  When crafting proposals it's important that architects are able to show their work—what they've done to balance the input that's been collected. Simply handing down decisions from management may work in corporate boardrooms, but it won't work in community. People need to see how their contribution has been duly considered.

o  Community facilitators need to be able to do more than track what people are saying; they need to be able to read when there's a "disturbance in the Force," requiring a facile shift in focus from content to energy (and then back again once the riffles have been calmed).

o  While there are limits on who can live together cooperatively (not everyone has the communication skills that it takes, or has done the necessary personal work to unlearn competitive conditioning), you can tell a lot about a group's maturity by observing how it works with outliers—members with unusual speaking styles or uncommon ways of putting information together. Has the group worked to bridge to those folks, or written them off? In turn, has the challenging individual worked to better understand others and reach toward them? When the stretching happens in both directions there is often a place of meeting in the middle. When only one side is doing the work, it is difficult to sustain. There is considerable skill in knowing which relationships are salvageable and which are not.
• • •Laying this out illuminates an important gulf that must be bridged when trying to bring the lessons of community living into the wider culture. It is far more than just memorizing formats and structures. In order to achieve the quality of consideration that I've outlined above, facilitators need to bring groups that are purposefully reaching toward more cooperative dynamics along gently. It's a sea change and people will need their sea legs to be able stand tall in heavy waves.

The good news is that a small number of effective facilitators can bring a group around fairly quickly. The bad news is that most groups have never experienced truly effective facilitation and they don't understand what to look for or why it's worth investing in training.

In FIC we recently lost a staff member who had the qualifications for the job but who didn't feel the culture of the organization was a good fit. They didn't have the experience that the way they approached their job was respected by peers and it is too much effort to be heard. While it's sad when this happens, it's also a good sign that people are paying attention to the organizational culture and weighing it seriously. I consider it a good thing that we take personnel decisions personally.

Millrace properties near The Hawks building in Goshen are having contaminated ... - The Elkhart Truth

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Millrace properties near The Hawks building in Goshen are having contaminated ...
The Elkhart Truth
GOSHEN — Huge mounds of dirt sit south of The Hawks, workers are in the process of replacing contaminated dirt with clean soil — one of the last steps needed before construction can begin on a cohousing neighborhood being built by developer Richard ...

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Why FIC Is Special

Laird's Blog -

I am in the final weeks of serving as the Fellowship for Intentional Community's main administrator. After 28 years behind the wheel I'll be turning it over to my successor, Sky Blue of Twin Oaks in Virginia.

Among other things, this fall I've been conducting a series of evening soirees in which I'm banging the drum for FIC—providing an overview of what we've done since 1987 and making the case for why we are well poised to make a major contribution to calming the waters in the coming chaotic times. 

I've already done three of these—in Boulder CO, Sacramento CA, and Berkeley CA—and will do another next week in Kansas City. As there have only been 12-15 folks in the room for each of these presentations, I'm using today's blog entry to extend my message to a wider audience.

This is a presentation in four acts:

I. Original Mission
Here are the main elements of FIC's mission when we got started:

A. Serve as an ecumenical clearinghouse of up-to-date and comprehensive information about intentional communities—especially in the US and Canada
B. Offer technical assistance to communities in need
C. Support media relations and help researchers investigate community living
D. Be an organization that runs cooperatively; not just one that promotes cooperation
E. Articulate why intentional communities matter in the world

II. Overview of FIC History (highlights of what we've accomplished)
1987    incorporated
1990    published our first Communities Directory as a book (we've done this six times, with plans for a seventh edition now in the works, scheduled for release in the spring)
1992    took over as publisher of Communities magazine (it had been started in 1972, but was dead in the water when we took it over)
1993    held the Celebration of Community (a six-day event that drew 1000 participants in Olympia WA)
1994    launched www.ic.org
1997    pioneered Art of Community weekend events that featured both information about community living and a taste of it
1999    took over Community Bookstore, a bookselling business that features titles on cooperative living, right livelihood, sustainable economics, group process, and sustainable design
2002    launched our online Store (allowing books to be bought through the Web); published Visions of Utopia, vol I (Geoph Kozeny's magnum opus video providing an overview of intentional communities extant in North America)
2004    offered Communities Directory as a free online searchable database
2005    expanded our mission to include Creating Community Where You Are (it was now our business to assist neighborhoods, schools, churches, and businesses that wanted to employ the pioneering lessons of intentional communities to create a greater sense of community in place)
2007    established wiki.ic.org and buzz.ic.org (a compendium of stories about intentional communities in the media)
2009    published Visions of Utopia, vol II; developed a new logo and unified graphic design
2010    debuted on Facebook; we adjusted listings to comply with Fair Housing Laws
2011    obtained North American rights to sell A New We, a video that features 10 examples of sustainable communities in Europe
2013    opened dialog with the Ecovillage Network of Canada and the Ecovillage Network of the Americas to discuss joint development of GENNA (Global Ecovillage Network of North America)—demonstrating our commitment to cooperation among cooperators2014    created the role of Business Manager and hired Christopher Kindig to fill it; start offering digital downloads and streaming video; Best of Communities is published (compilations of articles from our magazine grouped around a theme—there are 15 booklets)
2015    bought Allium at Dancing Rabbit (Rutledge MO) and moved HQ there (Allium is a strawbale, earthen plaster facility powered by solar panels on the roof, replacing a drafty '70s era house trailer); selected Sky Blue to replace me as Executive Director

III. What We Are Poised to Do
o  Host a summit of organizations with a core commitment to supporting community, exploring ways that entities committed to collaboration can better walk our talk (this would expand on the role we've played in the development of GENNA to include more players and expand the scope of the work)
o  Turn over our leadership, modeling a sustainable transition
o  Overhaul our flagship product, Communities Directory:
    -separating Established from Forming groups
    -being stricter about verifying the currency of listings or dropping them (pruning dead wood)
    -providing user ratings for responsiveness to encourage listed communities to more promptly answer inquiries (or get a poor rating)
o  Reach out to the next ring of natural allies to see how the intentional community experience can help (examples include Transition Towns, university sustainability programs, worker cooperatives)   

IV. Why Your Support for FIC Today Will Make a Difference
We see sustainability as a three-legged stool. One component is ecological, one is social, and one is economic. While intentional communities work with all three, it is in the arena of social sustainability that intentional communities are at the cutting edge, where we are learning on a practical basis how to get along well with one another.

We anticipate that in the decades immediately ahead that we will be facing a far more chaotic time, where we’ll have to make do with fewer resources and less dependable incomes. While the number of people living in communities has been growing steadily on our watch, the numbers are still small (perhaps 100,000 living in some form of self-identified intentional community today) and we think our main societal impact will not be placing people in intentional communities. Instead, we think it will be exporting the hard-earned lessons of social sustainability to people increasingly hungry for alternatives to an alienating, dog-eat-dog competitive culture. 

In particular, intentional communities are able to provide workable models of two huge levers that offer hope for a future that can work for everyone, without hitting a brick wall or relying on government bailouts:

a) Defining quality of life in terms of access to resources instead of ownership.

b) Defining security in terms of relationships instead of savings or insurance policies.

If you make these changes, suddenly you need far less money than you thought you did to lead a high quality life, and that eases everything. However, making these transitions requires leading a life that is more intertwined with others than most of us are used to. That is where the intentional community experience comes into play: we know how to do this. And we think the demand for that knowledge is just about to explode.

Your dollars in support of FIC today means we have a better chance to stay ahead of the choppy waves to come, sharing our knowledge as broadly as possible while there is still time to effect a soft landing for the uncertain times ahead. If you're inspired to partner with FIC to get this done, please donate here.

The Challenge of Hybrid Governance

Laird's Blog -

On a number of occasions throughout my career as a process consultant, I've encountered situations where there are two impulses regarding governance that run in opposite directions in the same group. In general, there is a sense that the community should self-govern via cooperative principles (often this means consensus in some form). On the other there is a sense that there are important matters that are best managed by a hierarchy comprised of a subset of the community.

This generally incarnates in one of three forms:

a) Development Partners
It is common among larger scale projects (such as cohousing) for there to be a group of early adopters who form a development partnership who are at risk financially by serving as loan guarantors (pledging their assets to back the loans). Often this group selects a management team that is authorized to make large scale, short-fused decisions during development.

The people who join later are typically not in this partnership (and are therefore less at risk). Thus, the partners comprise a subset of the community and often feel compelled to protect their exposure by keeping the power closely held and in the hands of a few trusted individuals so that the group can respond to surprises and late-breaking news with alacrity.

In general, this is a temporary phase that exists only until the community is built and the units are sold, at which point the development partners are able to pay off the loans, and dissolve. Sometimes circumstances (such as the sub-prime mortgage debacle of 2008) lead to development taking far longer than imagined with the result that the development partnership persists for far longer than anticipated. In consequence, there may be two governments operating simultaneously: the community and the partnership.

b) Owners as Distinct form Renters
Many communities (though by no means all) allow renters to live in the community, not just owners. When this occurs the community needs to make a decision about whether renters are welcome as full members, or are they second-class citizens with limited rights. There are examples of both. If renters are embraced as community members, then it is often with the proviso that they cannot block proposals with long-term financial consequences; otherwise they can participate in community decisions with full privileges.

Where the group determines that it wants a larger barrier, it generally plays out in one of two ways: i) renters are invited to participate in community decision-making strictly as observers (where they there are openings to add their voice, but their agreement is not necessary to make binding decisions); or ii) there develops a parallel government: one that is only open to HOA members (owners) and one open to all community members (including renters).

c) Spiritual as Distinct form Secular
In the case where a group has alignment with a spiritual path as a primary screen for membership, it may be compelling to consider the spiritual life as something separate from the secular life. When this happens (some spiritual groups operate this way and others do not), there can also develop two governments: i) a group (or even a single inspirational leader) that oversees spiritual matters (such as how we will deepen our spiritual practice); and ii) a community governing body that has authority over secular matters (such as how we will build our housing and the degree to which we are committed to ecological practices).
• • •In all cases delineated above, when there are two governing bodies it generally happens that they do not operate the same way. That is, there may be restrictions on the opportunities for input from community members in the governance structure that is not about the community. There may be a hierarchy in this governance structure that is expressly rejected in the community's structure.

It is hard enough to do one governance structure well. Operating two well is a higher bar still, and all the more so when they are not particularly congruent.

I am focusing on this not because there is a right and wrong to it. Rather, I want to illuminate that it can be highly delicate navigating the difference in cultures when two separate governance structures attempt to play in the same sandbox.

Here are four of the pitfalls:

o  Confusion about domain
As clear as the separation may be in the minds of the creators, reality has an annoying habit of muddying the waters—crafting situations that were not anticipated that beg the question of which body should handle which aspect of an issue. (If there were a single governance structure, the question of domain would be moot.)

Suppose you're a cohousing group that is contemplating an expansion of the common house that will include two aspects: 1) an ADA-compliant apartment expressly to provide end-of-life accommodations for members who desire to age in place as long as possible; and 2) a short-term living apartment that can enhance options for accommodating visiting family members or short-term visitors.

Given that the community will be borrowing money to finance the construction of this addition (read increased HOA fees) how much say should renters have in the design and approval of this proposal? It gets messy. If the proposal is handled strictly as an HOA matter then renters may not be consulted. If it's discussed at the community level (where renters have a say) then it's another kettle of fish.

On the one hand, it can be argued that this is a capital improvement and therefore clearly in the domain of the owners. On the other, it can be argued that the changes will demonstrably impact how the common house is viewed and used, which is the hub of community social life—therefore it's a community issue. Ugh.

o  Confusion about voice
If your group has two governance structures and the community has a core value of inclusivity (which is highly common), then there is a baseline commitment to protecting an opportunity for every member to have a chance for their input on community matters be taken into account. In situations where a member is not among the management group of the other governance structure (say, they are a renter and have no voice in HOA meetings; are a member but not part of the development partnership; or are a devotee but not part of the spiritual hierarchy) it can be hard to feel fully welcome in one governance setting, and disenfranchised in the other.

Making this even more nuanced, it does not have to be all or nothing (by which I mean either a fully enfranchised stakeholder or gagged). It's possible to genuinely reach out and listen to members who are not authorized to make decisions, making a good faith effort to work with their input even when you're not obliged to. When done effectively, this can go a long ways toward diffusing tension. It does not promise that everyone will get their way; only that everyone's views will be taken into account and an effort will be made to show how that was done.

o  Confusion about standards of transparency and feedback
In cooperative culture there is a high value placed on sharing information broadly. Not in the sense of exposé or gossip, but in the sense of letting everyone know what's going on and where there are opportunities for input on a given topic. If the community standard is high in this regard and it is markedly different in the culture of the other governance structure, there is sure to be tension. (Why am I being kept in the dark? Why aren't the leaders more interested in my views?)

Nowhere is this two-way flow of information more precious than when it comes to feedback and evaluation. At its best, cooperative groups have two things going in this regard: 

i) Members know how to appreciate leaders and at the same time how to sensitively call them to task when they're coloring outside the lines (perceived to be exceeding their authority or acting preemptively without consulting the group).

ii) Leaders know how to regularly make themselves available to members to hear how they're doing. The main challenge here is to be open to receiving critical feedback without getting defensive; to be genuinely interested in how you, as a leader, are being perceived. 

Now let's dig a little deeper to illuminate the complexity of a member criticizing a leader. The member offering the criticism may not be privy to information that places the leader's actions (the thing being criticized) in a substantially different context, and it may not be appropriate (because of the sensitivity of the information) to share that with the member. In such a situation, the temptation may be to dismiss the feedback as ill-founded, or to assert that there is hidden information that negates the feedback which cannot be shared, but either of those responses will land poorly and is likely to degrade trust between the member and the leader. The wise leader will be able to see how important it is to have a clear channel of communication with members and the importance of knowing how they are perceived even if the member is misinformed—because the irritation is real, even if the foundation upon which it is based is shaky.

o  Confusion about leadership and leadership succession
Many cooperative groups neglect to define what they want from their leaders: the qualities they want to engender and those they to move away from (perhaps because they arise from the competitive culture that the group is expressly trying to be an alternative to). Lacking clarity about what's wanted, it's easy to see how the ambiguity can bite you in the butt, because members may be operating from personal standards that are not explicit and are potentially inconsistent.

Let me give you a single example. Suppose everyone thinks that leaders ought to be respectful of members—which is a fairly mom and apple pie kind of statement. (Who, after all, would advocate that leaders be disrespectful?) But it's actually a trap unless the group discusses what it means to be respectful. For some it means never raising one's voice, or breaking into another's comment mid-sentence. For others it means speaking authentically, with passion when that's present. What's respectful to one may be the very opposite to another, and the leader is caught in the middle.

But let's suppose your group has discussed what it wants from its leaders. When you have two governance structures and the cultures are different, this can easily mean that the leadership style favored in one governance structure is different than the one favored in the other. Think of what a nightmare this can be when a person simultaneously serves in a leadership capacity in both governance structures!

For cooperative groups, I suggest looking at my blog of Sept 27, 2011, 20 Qualities of Effective Cooperative Leaders. You can note, as you go over my suggestions, how more hierarchic structures may cultivate different forms of leadership. I'm not saying you can't do it; I'm only pointing out the ways that it can be tricky to navigate such that both forms can coexist and be effective.

In addition to what is wanted from leaders, there may be divergence (in the two governance structures) about the best model for leadership succession. In cooperative culture, it behooves groups to develop the leadership capacity of all members and to have a wide pool to choose from when selecting someone to fill a leadership role. In general, it makes sense to regularly rotate people in leadership so that people can get "on the job" training (there is an important difference between watching others lead and doing it yourself). Healthy cooperative groups are constantly investing in developing the leadership capacity of their members. While there are likely to always be some who have a better feel for leadership than others and it's not required that everyone lead, you definitely want a large pool.

In the other governance structure, there may be a tendency to keep quality individuals in leadership roles as long as possible, with minimum turnover. This definitely cuts down on fools tax (the mistakes that newbies make as they learn leadercraft) and can provide stability over time (you know what you're going to get, and the continued investment in that leader means, hopefully, that they get better over time). That said, there may also be vulnerability (what will we do if the leader gets hit by a truck?) and you are at risk of losing members who do not respond well to the leader's style (because there are no short-term prospects of a different leader).

In my experience when you have someone in a leadership role for a long time, the key questions are how open they are to hearing critical feedback about their performance (see the previous point); how open are they to new ideas that are not their own; and how open are they the developing the leadership capacity of others—preparing for the day when they'll step down (or be carried out).

Group Works: Divergence and Convergence Rhythm

Laird's Blog -

This entry continues a series in which I'm exploring concepts encapsulated in a set of 91 cards called Group Works, developed by Tree Bressen, Dave Pollard, and Sue Woehrlin. The deck represents "A Pattern Language for Bringing Life to Meetings and Other Gatherings."

In each blog, I'll examine a single card and what that elicits in me as a professional who works in the field of cooperative group dynamics. My intention in this series is to share what each pattern means to me. I am not suggesting a different ordering or different patterns—I will simply reflect on what the Group Works folks have put together.

The cards have been organized into nine groupings, and I'll tackle them in the order presented in the manual that accompanies the deck:

1. Intention 2. Context 3. Relationship 4. Flow5. Creativity 6. Perspective 7. Modeling 8. Inquiry & Synthesis 9. Faith

In the Flow segment there are 15 cards. The fourth pattern in this category is labeled Divergence and Convergence Rhythm. Here is the image and thumbnail text from that card:

Diverging widens perspective, explores new terrain and opens up options. Converging coalesces collective wisdom in moving toward focused decisions, concrete outcomes, and the end of the session. Good group process naturally cycles between these two, so be thoughtful about which to engage when.

The aspect of group dynamics where this pattern is evoked most strongly for me is the sequence associated with how a group effectively tackles an issue. Based on four decades of group living, I've distilled this into a basic six-step progression:

1. Presentation of the Topic (what are we talking about?)
2. Questions (did everyone understand what was said in the presentation?)
3. Discussion (what factors does a good response to the issue need to take into account?)
4. Proposal (what action steps bets balance the factors identified in Discussion?)
5. Decision (have we talked about this enough?)
6. Implementation (who will do what when, and with what resources?)

Discussion Phase
I think this should be handled as an expansive, or divergent, phase with plenty of room for exploring the dimensions of the issue, casting a wide net. In order to maintain a creative, open attitude, it can be important to not engage prematurely in evaluation of ideas. Let 'em breathe!

Give everyone a chance to tell you why their concern is the most important thing since night baseball. It's important to make sure that everyone has a chance to say what matters to them on the topic. While this can be done in a variety of ways, here's a relatively straight forward approach that will guide you through it without getting bogged down:

a) Brainstorming
Brainstorms are unedited, which means you capture everyone's thoughts about what the group needs to take into account. You are not looking for evaluative comments at this stage, and you don't need to hear an idea twice. With discipline, it doesn't take that long to run out of new things to capture.

It's at this stage that you welcome people's passionate statements about why the factor that they've named is important to them. Let 'em sell it! The idea here is more than capturing the concepts; it's also to understand what it means to the advocate, so that this depth of understanding is carried forward into the Proposal phase.

b) Vetting
In this step, the group pauses to look over the output of brainstorming to determine if everything belongs on a list of group concerns. It's possible that some items were added for levity and were never meant to be taken seriously (say the topic is recruiting new members for the group house and someone suggests targeting seven-footers with purple hair, all the better to form an eye-catching intramural basketball team). Or perhaps there are some personal preferences commingled with group concerns (let's go after people who play brass instruments to bolster the house ensemble).

If the group exercises reasonable discernment when brainstorming, then nothing may need to be winnowed out during vetting.

c) Prioritizing
Sometimes there are factors that are more important than others. If so, this is the time to identify that ranking. Continuing with the example of recruiting new members, the group may decide it that when screening prospectives that it wants to emphasize social skills above people with a better credit rating.

Once the the Discussion phase is complete, then it's time to switch to problem solving.

Discussion should always happen first, and be completed before the group starts entertaining potential solutions. While this may seem obvious (determining everything that the solution needs to cover before you start building it), it is not how groups typically work an issue. All too often these two phases are folded together in one free-for-all conversation: no sooner does someone mention a concern, then another well-meaning member proposes a way to deal with it… and so it goes, with concerns and would-be solutions flying around the room like so many ping pong balls at a lotto convention.

The problem with this is that Discussion is expansive (or divergent) while Proposal is contractive (or convergent), and it can be crazy-making if the group allows members to simultaneously be convergent and divergent. (Try it).

Proposal Phase In contrast, this step has a very different energy from Discussion. The time for advocacy is over; now is the time for thoughtful bridging. It helps the group not a whit to have people say again why their particular concern should drive the conversation—if this came out during Discussion (as it should have) then you have to trust the group to not forget.

So this is a convergent phase where the focus is on stitching together; not a tug-of-war. You want the quality of the Proposal phase to be holding the whole, not a demolition derby where the idea with the best radiator and toughest body wins.

Charles Durrett: Want the homeless to 'disappear'? Give them homes and resources - The Union of Grass Valley

Cohousing News from Google -

Charles Durrett: Want the homeless to 'disappear'? Give them homes and resources
The Union of Grass Valley
... and opportunities to become contributing members of the community. Yes, leadership is necessary in transcending the fear. We can do it — let's try again. Charles Durrett is the principal architect at McCamant & Durrett Architects, The Cohousing ...

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PJ Bremier's Fine Living: Antiques show has plenty for modern tastes - Marin Independent Journal

Cohousing News from Google -

PJ Bremier's Fine Living: Antiques show has plenty for modern tastes
Marin Independent Journal
Interested in learning how Cohousing in Marin's idea of private ownership with the advantages of community living can benefit a senior? Attend a free introductory forum from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 22 at Sausalito Public Library at 420 Litho St. in Sausalito.

Why cohousing communities are attracting midlife Mainers - Bangor Daily News

Cohousing News from Google -

Bangor Daily News

Why cohousing communities are attracting midlife Mainers
Bangor Daily News
At Two Echo Cohousing in Brunswick, Welch, 69, found just the right balance — an intimate neighborhood of like-minded individuals and families of all ages, living in a village-like setting in the Maine countryside and committed to a philosophy of ...

and more »

Why cohousing communities are attracting midlife Mainers - Bangor Daily News

Cohousing News from Google -

Bangor Daily News

Why cohousing communities are attracting midlife Mainers
Bangor Daily News
At Two Echo Cohousing in Brunswick, Welch, 69, found just the right balance — an intimate neighborhood of like-minded individuals and families of all ages, living in a village-like setting in the Maine countryside and committed to a philosophy of ...

and more »

Why cohousing communities are attracting midlife Mainers - Bangor Daily News

Cohousing News from Google -

Bangor Daily News

Why cohousing communities are attracting midlife Mainers
Bangor Daily News
At Two Echo Cohousing in Brunswick, Welch, 69, found just the right balance — an intimate neighborhood of like-minded individuals and families of all ages, living in a village-like setting in the Maine countryside and committed to a philosophy of ...

and more »


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