Re: Screening
From: Eris Weaver (
Date: Thu, 9 Dec 2004 08:54:00 -0800 (PST)
Tree said:
> One thing to be aware of is that practically no groups immersed in the
> cohousing model screen members.

To which Rob replied:
> Cohousing is highly screened. The screening however is
> done by the banks.

And now Eris jumps into the fray!

They are both right. There is definitely a financial screen when it comes
time to plunk down the money. (When in the development process, we
required folks to provide a pre-qualification letter from a lender in
order to become a member!)

There isn't a direct, explicit screening by group members on the other
kinds of things that other intentional communities may screen for:
emotional compatibility, work skills, spiritual or political orientation,
food habits, etc. We don't generally sit a new member down and subject
them to a group interview.

But there ARE implicit, invisible, unspoken screens.  Do you grok with the
people who are already in the group? Can you stand all the endless
meetings? Does the timeline, the location, the size of the project meet
with your needs/expectations? Do you have the time and space in your life
to do the work that needs to be done? Do you feel at home with and trust
these people? Do you like the food they bring to potlucks? Are you the
only single mom/old person/person of color/queer/whatever, and does that
feel OK to you?

I believe that a large part of the tone or personality of a group is
somewhat set by the initial core group; newcomers either feel "Yay, I've
found my people!" or "Whoa, this is not for me."

A HUGE number of people passed through our group during its five years of
development. Of course, many of them came to one meeting and then
disappeared, so we don't know why - they probably just didn't like our
vibes. Others who were around for awhile before leaving left because:
1. They got involved in a relationship with someone who wasn't into
2. Financially they couldn't swing it.
3. Issues with kids - not wanting to move them out of school, etc.
4. They were dreaming of a rural community and we ended up doing urban
5. Job issues -- couldn't find a job here, got laid off, had to move for a
job, etc.

Everytime new people join, the dynamics of the group shift a little. That
can be unsettling sometimes. Only once, however, did we have somebody show
up that several of us REALLY thought, "oh, no, I do NOT WANT this guy in
our community!" As some of us discussed how to deal with it, one member
just kept saying, "relax, he'll weed himself out."

ANd he did!

Eris Weaver
FrogSong, Cotati, CA

....where we recently celebrated our first HearthDay, the anniversary of
when we took possession of our common house!

  • re: screening c . mcguire3, June 13 1996
    • Re: Screening Eris Weaver, December 9 2004

Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.