RE: Single mothers
From: Rob Sandelin (Exchange) (
Date: Wed, 28 Aug 1996 11:13:44 -0500
Deborah spoke of the difficulties both financial and time wise for
single parents in society, and single mothers in particular.  I have
spoken to the point I am about to make at great length before so I won't
belabor this here. What you need and want is Community, and you don't
need to build cohousing to have it. You CAN create community, the sense
of connection and support you want, without having to undertake becoming
a real estate developer.  I reccomend the book, Building community
anywhere: finding support and connection in a fragmented world by
Carolin Shaffer.

There is a group, very successful in the Seattle, called the Solo
Parenting Alliance.  They connect people together to form single parent
communities, they help arrange house shares, child play situations (lets
all meet at Mcarthur park on Tueday night). They provide childcare time
so parents can have discussion groups about their parenting issues.  I
have come to know a few folks who have been connected through that group
 and they have a real sense of community together, they share dinners,
rotating meals at each others houses, they watch each others kids, they
provide emotional support, dating advice, you name it. I bring this up
because the folks I met with wanted to do cohousing, then found out they
already has everything cohousing could offer except the buildings, so
they wisely decided to put their energies elsewhere.   So I would
encourage you to NOT try and become a real estate developer, but rather
to become a community builder. Community comes from your heart and your
commitment to your connection to others you like and love. It does not
come from buildings. You DO NOT have to all live on the same site in
order to have community. 

In short, building cohousing from scratch is the hardest way I can think
of to meet your need and desire for community. There are much simplier
and more effective ways to accomplish this.

Rob Sandelin
Sharingwood Cohousing
Northwest Intentional Communities Association

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