re: Frustration in Forming Community
From: Tom Hammer (
Date: Fri, 28 May 2004 19:41:24 -0700 (PDT)

Where do you live?

I have lots of thoughts about frustrations; we have
been going through lots of them.  But to boil it all
down, I think the most important things are:

1) never show discouragement in front of the group,
always be positive; never criticize.  Lots of people
will show up for one meeting and leave because it
isn't what they thought, your vision doesn't match
theirs, they aren't willing to compromise, they get
scared, etc.  You are like a sieve that will catch few
fish.  You've got to have lots of fish swimming into
your net so that you'll always have enough people. 
Therefore, learn everything you can about marketing
and market constantly.  Get some brochures made up and
carry them everywhere you go and distribute them.

2) Therefore, start a web site; that will attract lots
of people if it's reasonably well done. There are
places that will host your first site for free and
provide site building tools. 

3) focus on relationships more than getting things
done at meetings.  If people don't feel warm and
welcomed and truly accepted, they won't return.  But
try to get people to take on a small task; that will
help them feel part of the group.

4) think carefully about each and every meeting so
that new people get recognized and thought about
carefully.  Make sure to do introductions and do
validations for everyone who has done something since
the last meeting.

5) Do info sessions at places with potential
cohousers; find out what the typical demographic is
for potential cohousers in your area.  In our area,
it's Quakers, Unitarians, and patrons of health food

6) Once you have a few people coming regularly, have a
social once every month or two.

Those are some of the basics of starting, in my mind.

Tom Hammer
for Concord Village

Concord Village--an affordable intentional neighborhood with environmentally 
friendly construction, a walkable central green, and voluntary community meals 
within walking distance of a small town.

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