Joani Blank, a cohousing pioneer, passed on August 6, 2016. Coho/US is collecting stories of her impact and influence, posted below. Please email me if you would like to add to.
Alice Alexander, Coho/US Executive Director aliceCohoUS [at] gmail [dot] com
Neil Planchon, long time friend and neighbor of Joani Blank at Swan's Market Cohousing, is sharing sad news of her passing, below. Along with appreciating the amazing person she was, we are all grateful to Joani for her significant contributions to growing cohousing, from the personal attention she gave to so many people and communities to help them on their journey, to the advice and inspiration she shared through leading tours, presenting at conferences, and writings of her considerable experiences.
In response to my Do You Feel Safe & Secure? blog, I received this thoughtful comment. I applaud the community's plan on hiring an outside facilitator. I also encourage those with similar concerns to attend our Dealing with Diverse Personalities Retreat.
Since last exchanging emails with you (National Cohousing Open House Day), there have been some changes in my Cohousing Village. A group of residents decided that they were not feeling safe at monthly business meetings.
Have you ever noticed that when you go to dinner at a friends’ house you frequently have intimate, fun conversations that make you feel closer and more connected? Have you noticed that doesn’t usually happen at a dinner parties attended by lots of people? When we hang out one on one or in small groups the intimacy of the setting is conducive to personal dialog, we get a chance to share about ourselves and our lives.....For myriad financial and legal reasons we are not going to have a common house at Amabel.
Bob and Claire Miller are providing ideas and considerations on community cooperation to “get the work done,” in maintaining and sustaining their Wolf Creek Lodge cohousing community.
Cooperation and Fairness
Here are some "frequently asked questions" by members of forming cohousing groups:
• How many hours per month must each person commit?
• How do you account for the hours?
• Can people pay rather than work?
• What do you do about those who do not contribute their fair share?
Do you feel safe and secure? Given the appalling violence profiled in daily, that has to be a question that arises for each of us. Despite pleas also constantly voiced that we should not give in to fear, we naturally question our security, and the resultant stress can chip away at our confidence and happiness.
Most people would think that there are no positives in breaking an arm. In cohousing, the decision is more complex. When I was eight years old, I was having a swinging contest with my neighbor Kaden. I must confess it wasn’t just a swinging contest. It was a jumping off of swings contest. Kaden and I would swing as high as possible on our community playground and then jump off. The person who landed farthest away from the playground won. I had been warned many times not to do this, but I thought that I was as tough as rock and did it anyway.
Wendy Wiesner, PFAC (Partnerships for Affordable Cohousing)
[Wendy is responding to an inquiry from a person in Sacramento seeking affordable cohousing options, who writes: I’ve been trying to crack this cohousing egg for many years without luck. We have many new cohousing projects either developed or in development in the Sacramento, California area, but when I ask about affordable units, I get no response.Visit here to read Part I.