Community feeling in subsequent generations
From: Geri Weitzman (
Date: Thu, 26 May 94 12:56 CDT
Hi there! I just signed on to Cohousing-L and I thought I'd add my 2 
cents to the question of community-sense in latter generations...

I'm about to graduate from Brown and so am leaving the student-run and 
in-part student-owned co-ops that have been home to me for three years. 
The average length of stay at our 3 houses (soon to be 4!) is 2 years, 
and the members are between 19 and 30 years of age usually.

Our co-ops were founded by students in the early 70's who have long 
since moved on... we have gone through many succeeding generations. In my 
3 years of co-oping here I have seen groups of people that melded well 
together, being pretty much a family, and also groups that did not click 
at all. Similarly there have been groups who put in a lot of work, and 
groups which let things slide to a dangerous level of disorganization. 
Continuity is one of our big priorities, and sometimes challenges.

I don't think that the experience of being a founding member is vital to 
the closeness that the members have with one another. It is certainly an 
ideal of mine that my housemates are my family, but realistically I 
consider a co-op a good place if people are friendly and work well 
together and are good at resolving conflicts. Often the entry process to 
the co-op involves accepting someone who is a virtual stranger... you can 
ask as many screening questions as you like, but ultimately you have to 
simply see how it goes; it is unrealistic to expect that people will 
become lovey-dovey simply because they share a philosophy on housing and 
live and work together. Basically, I think this is simply a function of 
the individuals who are there at any time.

One of the wonderful experiences at the co-op we had was a reunion of 
folks from as far back as the beginning to the present. It was awesome 
to meet the people who put this all in motion, and it was great for them 
to see that what they started was still going strong :)

Cheers, Pyrophage
pyro [at] 

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