|RE: Single Mothers / Proximity of HH's||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Rob Sandelin (Exchange) (RobsanExchange.MICROSOFT.com)|
|Date: Thu, 29 Aug 1996 13:59:56 -0500|
Fred pointed out some excellent examples of retro-fit cohousing which is a good way to build community where you are, with what you have at hand. That was my main point. There is a very close community in Seattle, called the Good Enough community, that is non-residential, the participants are scattered all over the city and beyond, yet they have, as far as I can tell from being an outsider, an excellent sense of community, and do many cooperative things together. They DO have a central meeting place, an older house in Seattle where the living room and basement are used for community functions. Of course I agree living in a cohousing neighborhood is a great scene for both parents and kids. My point however is that you DO NOT have to live in a cohousing neighborhood to have this. There seems to be this odd myth that the only way to get a community is to custom design a real estate development. I will continue to debunk this myth. There are countless examples of folks who have organized from zero, a very active neighborhood community, right where they live. But, it takes a catalyst, someone to organize and host the parties, potlucks, video nights, kids afternoon club, tool sharing, paint brigades, etc. =20 For people who want more of a sense of community where you live take the Rob Challenge. Make it happen by becoming the neighborhood community catalyst. Until you give it one years full effort of trying, don't tell me it can't possibily work. I heard that from someone in the Central District of Seattle, a fairly crime ridden place with drugs, shootings, etc. A woman I met at a communities talk I gave was sure she had to move somewhere else to have a community. I yanked this persons chain enough, by golly she went out door to door with a couple friends, passing out invites to a potluck neighborhood party. Guess what neighborhood now has a block watch and a kids play day once a month, a video party for teens and a parent support group which includes a cooperative child care setup? Sure, they don't have community dinners every night, but they have a lot more community than they did. I hear people all the time whine about how their neighbors are all a bunch of old republican farts, don't know em, don't want to. Hey, put on some Glen Miller at the VFW hall, bring some food and beers and you just watch those old republican farts create community! And you know what? Some of those old guys have some great stuff they are dying to share, with nobody willing. This exact scene took place on Capital Hill in Seattle and there is now a wood working club for teenagers in the neighborhood, based out an old republican farts garage shop that had been gathering dust for 20 years. The cool, custom designed skateboards that come out of that shop are the talk of the area. I could go on and on about stuff like this that is happening all over because people want community. I read somewhere that a sense of community is one of the primary reasons people go to church. So if you don't do church, or find that community not to your liking, create your own.=20 I very much beleive in the power of community. I also very much know you can create it where you are if you put energy into it. Custom cohousing developments are very nice, but they are pretty expensive means, both in times and in captial requirements to create something anybody can do who has the gumption to make it happen. If you don't have the means to be a home owner in a custom designed real estate development, you CAN still make community happen. Its your choice.=20 Rob Sandelin Sharingwood Community=20 Northwest Intentional Communities Association
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