Re: Attracting younger families
From: Yochai Gal (yochaigalgmail.com)
Date: Tue, 5 May 2020 06:25:15 -0700 (PDT)
Our community has a few young families, including my own. We have a three
year-old son, who was under 2 when we moved here. We loved that there were
older children here (ages 5-15) who all knew one another and played
together.
We loved the regular common meals (every Sunday, except for Summer) and the
seasonal events.

The main reason we moved here was because it was more affordable than our
previous place (a 2-bedroom near boston). For less than the value of our
former home we were able to buy a house nearly three times the size, in a
wonderful community. We both work from home and wanted separate offices, so
that was a big deal for us. Also it was the only house available at the
time, and we had waited two years already.

Our neighbors have two little ones even younger than our own, and one
factor was that the sister of the mother lived here already. Another was
the existence of our family, whose child became fast friends with theirs.
Additionally we were able to share resources particular to our mutual
situations, and collectively became fast friends. Those were major factors
being able to *stay* here. Activities like our regular Friday night meals
together (Shabbat with mixed families), game nights after the kids went to
bed, shared care responsibilities, etc was a huge boost to our quality of
life, and theirs. The other families with older children were also very
generous with hand-me-downs (I believe my son has a shirt worn by at least
5 other families) and babysitting during common meals, date nights, etc.
The community watches out for our son, who enjoys running out of the house
naked during all weather-types. It really helps!

If you'll indulge me, I'd like to say a little more. During difficult
times, the community was *there for us*. Last year, our child suffered a
traumatic event which caused him to stop sleeping *completely*. I won't go
into details, but I can say that it was the greatest challenge we'd faced
since becoming parents. Luckily we lived in a lovely cohousing community
that rallied around us after a caring organized folks to help us. They
brought us meals every night, walked our dog, and helped in a myriad of
ways for which we will forever be grateful. Things have steadily improved,
but neighbors still check-in with us from time to time to see that we're
OK. Finally, during the pandemic our son had a birthday. The community
organized a parade on his behalf (wearing face-covering in the form of
masks and costumes) and marched by our home. They sang songs and played
instruments; I will never forget it.

Obviously we didn't *know* about any of this when we decided to move in,
but I will admit to some inkling. I have lived on a Kibbutz in Israel, so I
know what is possible. But I didn't know it was possible *here*.
Anyways, that's our story. I'd be happy to speak with anyone interested in
knowing more.

Yochai Gal
Rocky Hill Cohousing
Northampton, MA

On Tue, May 5, 2020 at 9:08 AM Fred-List manager <fholson [at] cohousing.org>
wrote:

> Abe Ross <cohoyote [at] gmail.com>
> is the author of the message below.  It was posted by
> Fred, the Cohousing-L list manager <fholson [at] cohousing.org>
> after reformatting the message which was in html only format that
> the list does not distribute.
> --------------------  FORWARDED MESSAGE FOLLOWS --------------------
>
> In reviewing the archives I see that several cohousing projects have
> encountered difficulties attracting younger families.&#xA0; I also see that
> the suggestions which have been made are anecdotal. Has anyone asked young
> families who have joined cohousing communities what it is which attracted
> them to cohousing?
>
> Abe Ross
> Treehouse Village Ecohousing
> Bridgewater, NS
> Canada
>
> Never Attribute to Evil Intent That Which Is Adequately Explained by
> Stupidity or Incompetence
>
>
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