community building and child/family involvement
From: Diane Simpson (
Date: Sat, 30 Nov 1996 20:56:28 -0700 (MST)
"I've been enjoying the posts here for a few weeks now and am intrigued
with the
co-housing concept.  Can any of you point me to some resources for building
community in one's present living situation?  I've seen web pages for a couple
of urban setting co-housing communities and have read some off the libertynet
pages.  I can't see our family getting involved in (or being truly committed to)
a start-up co-ho project when we havn't yet made a significant effort at
building community where we live now.  Does this feeling make sense to the rest
of you?  What did you do/try before going the co-ho route?  Can you offer some

-------Anne L. Varberg

I thought Carolyn Shaffer and Kristen Anudsen's book, "Creating Community
Anywhere"  was excellent. It points out a great many opportunities for
creating community right where you are.

As for what I did before going the coho route, I was very active in our
street's crimewatch. It brought the neighborhood together and helped people
get to know one another. My husband and I still organize the neighborhood
crimewatch yard sale every year. I've had to get less involved with the
crimewatch as I've started doing more coho-organizing work, but there are
other crimewatches springing up. These groups do a lot more than confer
with each other about criminal activity--they take part in neighborhood
cleanups and organize block parties.

Another thing I did, fairly recently, was to re-join the local Unitarian
church. I had been married in the First Parish Unitarian Church of Canton
sixteen years ago, but never joined the church in Jamaica Plain due to a
combination of inertia, my husband's antipathy towards all things
religious, and a self-induced delusion that I was "too busy." It's a great
community-building activity, being part of a group I feel I belong with,
and I have a great time there.

In other news....
Our group in JP is finally getting mobilized--eleven of us went on the
recent cohousing trip to Pomeroy Lane, Pioneer Valley (Amherst) and New
View (Acton). Seventeen people came to our meeting a week ago, and we have
organized into committees. Prior to this, if you missed one of our
meetings, you weren't missing anything, but things took a dramatic change
at the last meeting, and I must say, even I was amazed! Since Joani is
putting in a shameless plug for cohousing in Oakland, I'll put one in here
for Boston---"If you're interested in living in cohousing in the beautiful,
urbane, diverse, Berkeley-of-the-east, Jamaica Plain is for YOU!! Call
today! 617-522-2209!"

While I'm here, I might as well ask everyone: which group was selling the
"Ask me about Cohousing" buttons at the Northeast Regional Conference? I
lost mine and I want to get a dozen new ones.


       @@                                                        @@
      @@@@        Diane Simpson      @@@@
      |  |        J P   C O H O U S I N G   N E T W O R K       |  |
      | "|                263 Chestnut Ave. #1                  |" |
      | V|          Boston, MA 02130-4436 617-522-2209          |V |

Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.