Community Contacts
From: Elizabeth Magill (
Date: Tue, 7 Sep 2021 06:55:10 -0700 (PDT)
I would like to share the other side of this story.

I handle my community's "info" email list. People go to our website which
has tabs for all of our community agreements, what is cohousing,
descriptions of who lives here, a picture of our site, a tab showing which
homes are for sale (none), and more and more.
I think we do a really good job of describing our community, to the extent
that community can be described in words and pictures.

And I get emails every week that are "can you tell me about  your
community?" with absolutely no other information as to why they are
interested. I'm like---sure, what do you want to know?

And then I get long emails, often two pages, that read like they are trying
to earn a spot in our community. With no question, or with can I come work
for you for awhile, or "do I qualify". Again, I want to ask, did you read
the website at all before you hit "contact"?

And of course the spam. And people who want to do studies.

I reply to everything except the spam (I forward the studies to the
community in case someone wants to engage.) Sometimes I miss one.

We offer tours (but surely folk could give some idea of when they want to
come?) and keep an interest-list for when a home is available for sale.

I think it is worth it to keep up this task because a quarter or a fifth of
the emails are from people who have thoughtfully shown interest. It is our
goal to be open to promoting cohousing and to be welcoming of potential

And yes, sometimes responses take longer than a week. Sometimes I'm on
vacation. Sometimes I've got a busy week at work. Sometimes I just can't
read anymore email.

But mama mia it's work that takes more time than you would imagine.

(The Rev. Dr.) Elizabeth Mae Magill
Pastor, Ashburnham Community Church

On Sat, Sep 4, 2021 at 11:10 AM Jack & Carolyn Salmon <2salmon [at]>

> I’ve had the same experiences as Ann, when trying to contact some one, any
> one at a cohousing community.  You have to be a real sleuth to find someone
> to have a conversation with…by phone or on-line.  Even if a community has
> an email address or phone number listed in the Cohousing US directory, no
> one seems to be monitoring them.
> I live at Quimper Village…we do monitor our emails and phone answering
> machine AND we try to respond to all calls …well, not the robo-calls from
> the guy who designs webpages.    The person who monitors may respond or
> passes the message on to the member most likely to have a productive
> conversation with the caller.
> Let’s keep the conversations going.
> Carolyn

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