Re: Community Contacts
From: Chris Hansen (
Date: Tue, 7 Sep 2021 12:13:49 -0700 (PDT)
I know that our community info person would say Amen to that! She works
full time, is doing a PhD, and has a family.
People often just want a conversation, which is understandable, and those
in the community who are willing workers are pretty stretched with
Community tasks. (It would be interesting to do a poll of how much work
people anticipated CoHousing would involve when they arrived, and whether
it met or exceeded their expectations!)
Some of us work demanding jobs, some are elderly, some live with
disability, some have families, some are working their butts off for
CoHousing- and the normal combo of all/some/none of the above.
We had open homes before Covid- we've not mastered the art of doing it
Some people don't like to do it and it would be great to find folks who
like it; are good at it,and who have the time!
And, as Elizabeth so eloquently said, it would be _wonderful_ to understand
what about CoHousing piques people's interest- so we could tailor our
When people write and say 'can I come at 4pm on xx date' it's just not that
easy to find someone who is able to oblige, because nobody is employed to
do this job.
I'd love to know if some communities have elegant modes of managing and
navigating this. The 'Open House' was a great scheme when it worked.

On Tue, 7 Sept 2021 at 09:55, Elizabeth Magill <pastorlizm [at]> 

> 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
> cohousers.
> 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.
> -Liz
> (The Rev. Dr.) Elizabeth Mae Magill
> Pastor, Ashburnham Community Church
> 508-450-0431
> On Sat, Sep 4, 2021 at 11:10 AM Jack & Carolyn Salmon <
> 2salmon [at]>
> wrote:
> > 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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Chris Hansen
32 East Village Drive
Vermont 05401

Ph 603 3988730

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