This is a story about how cohousing kicks butt when it comes to bringing people together.
In particular, this is a story (very short — with photos!) about one community, Takoma Village Cohousing, in northwest Washington, DC that opened its doors and its heart to 27 people coming to DC for the Women’s March on Washington. In addition, seven households welcomed about 19 personal friends and family for the weekend so our community's population increased by more than half!
Here’s the tale. In November, we had discussed hosting marchers among ourselves and on our email list. In December, we took the discussion to a membership meeting. Community Team took on the responsibility. A point person networked with local March organizers, who gave tips for advertising ourselves and also directed guests our way. Other point people cooked and organized four meals, and everyone volunteered to clean up.
Some stats: Takoma Village Cohousing hosted 27 people (aged 12 to 70) from eight states, with eight people from five cohousing communities making up the cohort. Neighbors took in singes, couples and a group of three. More folks lodged in the Common House spreading pads, sleeping bags in available spaces.
As a community we provided:
How were we able to do all this?
We were able to do this because cohousing is uniquely positioned to undertake exactly these types of large scale events. Our innovative social structure makes it possible for us to take on BIG projects.
This is what cohousing brings to the table:
The physical characteristics standard in cohousing set us
apart from a typical condo or co-op:
Several of us stayed home on the day of The March, but we knew that 60 of our neighbors - and our new friends - represented us downtown. We felt "part of The March" because of our contributions.
The day of The March may have been gray and foggy in Washington, DC but the exuberant spirits, clever signs and posters and the determination of the participants energized the crowd and the watching world.
Things look a lot brighter today.
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Ann Zabaldo is a passionate promoter of cohousing. She was on the develoment team for Eastern Village in Silver Spring, MD and Takoma Village in Washington, DC where she lives. She serves on the Board for MAC.
See cool blog for Emerson Commons.