Over the last several years I have served on the Cohousing Association of the US Board of Directors and it's
been an absolute delight! My term will be ending the end of this year.
The board meets monthly by phone and with a well-crafted meeting by our executive
director, Karin Hoskin, we move expediently through business on behalf of the
communities within the National Cohousing Association. It's been a delight to work with
my fellow co-housers representing regions around the nation. And during conferences
we've been able to meet and hear more about one another personally as well as our
shared interests in the continued growth of cohousing.
I love to see communities reusing old stuff in a unique way.
Recently when visiting Greyrock Commons in Fort Collins Colorado, I had the pleasure of touring their common house. Not only do they have the absolute-most-coolest-ever-indoor-kids-play-area, but they had lovely wooden floors in their dining space. It turns out that I have a long ago connection to those floors as they were recovered during demolition from an old roller rink that I used to skate at when I was a kid!
Another nice reuse was the using of beetle kill pine wood that Wild Sage Cohousing in Boulder, Colorado used when building their bee hives.
What kinds of things has your community reused or upcycled?
Public Presentation Addresses Senior LGBT Housing Crisis
Durham, NC— Village Hearth Cohousing invites anyone interested in solving the senior LGBT housing crisis to a free public presentation on Friday, August 25th at 4:00 p.m. at Southwest Regional Library in Durham, NC. The presentation will feature architect and cohousing expert, Charles Durrett (McCamant & Durrett Architects) who, along with Kathryn McCamant (CoHousing Solutions) brought cohousing to the U.S. in the 1980s. To date, McCamant & Durrett Architects (MDA) has designed over 50 cohousing communities and over a dozen senior cohousing communities, including Village Hearth Cohousing.
On moving day. What does it feel like to move into a cohousing home you’ve been building for years? Exciting! The movers were friendly and right on time and carried all my boxes and furniture down three flights of stairs to the waiting truck. As the rental apartment I was leaving slowly emptied out, I had worried that I might feel sad to leave, but instead I was giddy with anticipation. When I arrived in my car at my new home, there was small group of cohousing friends there to greet me with open arms, feed me snacks, hold the front doors open, and watch the movers unpacking my belongings! My movers pulled up and I was officially moving in. We learned that the elevator was on emergency power due to a partial power outage at our new building, but at least it was working, unlike the day before.
The last nails are being hammered in. Fresh paint still clings to the damp air. In Port Townsend, Washington, residents of the newly-built Quimper Village Senior Cohousing eagerly await moving into the neighborhood that they co-designed. The neighborhood that not only symbolizes their desire to take an active role in their aging scenario, but also their commitment to supporting, listening to, and living in community with each other.
Cohousing communities, ecovillages, co-ops, and other Intentional communities of all kinds are a response to problems in society. They are a recognition that some of the essentials that make community what it us, mutual support, love and caring, sharing lives and livelihood in a meaningful and satisfying way, are lacking in the world. Not all intentional communities share the same political or social views. Some mirror the trend towards isolationism and protectionism we see politics today.
In my younger days, I would backpack into the wilderness to set up camp; then we had kids and began ‘car’ camping; we progressed to a Wildernest camper; our kids got bigger and we upgraded to a small hard sided camper; we missed sleeping outdoors, but our bodies are getting too old to sleep on the ground, so at this stage in our life, we are camping in a pull behind pop-up camper.
Loneliness doesn't always stem from being alone. For architect Grace Kim, loneliness is a function of how socially connected we feel to the people around us -- and it's often the result of the homes we live in. She shares an age-old antidote to isolation: cohousing, a way of living where people choose to share space with their neighbors, get to know them, and look after them. Rethink your home and how you live in it with this eye-opening talk.
There are many of you that I do not yet know and this is a personal story, but I feel comfortable sharing because we are in community, so each one of you is like my distant second cousin three times removed :)