Re: Cohousing, Communes, Community--Not for Profit! Please
From: robyn (
Date: Wed, 25 May 94 16:59 CDT
  James (I think it was) brought up an interesting point that I'd
 been thinking about in regards to community and commitment, and wether
 one needs to  have been there for the development of  a community to
 be commited to it's maintainance -- and for that matter if  expectations
 about the community a living  situation offers can be/ or are enough
 to help the members create a community.

     Now, I've yet to live in a co-housing situation, I hope to soon but
 not yet.  I have however, lived  many  years (I often think of it as having
 grown up in a communal living situation (student shared household) ), these
 situations may  not seem all that  similar to co-housing in  many  ways
 high  turnover (low initial investment) but in  other  ways they may  help
 us  think aobut  the questions  brought  up here.   Some houses are just
 shared houses and little (or  nothing more) a cheap place to live  with an
 architecture that  forces one to be rather close  even intimately aware of
 the other people who live there.  But it isn't the architecture that
 determines the character of  a house, anyone  who's  lived in such   houses
 knows the character is determined by the people,  and the  history of  the
 house to  some extent.  Some  houses are  full of  people you avoid, others
 are quickly (or slowly) family.
    The house I really felt commited to and really truly close to the  other
 members of was an old house called the House of Entropy   in Seattle  (Rob
 do you know anything about them?)    But, the original members who founded
 that place were all  long gone when I got  there, and what happened to the
 sense of community across  the years I lived there was something of  an
 ebb  and flow of  interest  based on who had time and who felt attached  to
 the place, but a  certain amount always seemed to be maintined based on
 peoples attachement to the original intent of the place and  who had been
 there when they moved  in to convay to the new person the  traditions of the
 house.  I suspect simmilar things will occure with co-housing.  Some will
 continue (if the current members teach new-comers well) and pick new people
 with care --- and some may like new houses of students set up at the
 begining of the year with no  history and no guidance will fail utterly
 but others guided only by intuitions and expectations work.  Though it's
 would be much much easier with someone to help guide early group processes,
 as it always seems to me that it's the way those early conflicts are
 handeled that seems to determine if a particular person becomes really
 commited to a place and it's people.
             gold forged in the fire of conflict I suppose.

 JUst my 2 cents,
                Manderse [at]

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