June 2019
Cohousing Now!
Cohousers Are Amazing!
Two weeks post-conference, it is a good time to reflect. The learnings and experiences have had time to settle. What stands out for me are the people. You might think that as a busy staff person, the strongest memories would be of the work, but they aren’t. The strongest memories by far are of hugs, laughter, passion, and connection.

Cohousers (the word we’ve made up to refer to those who live this way or want to live this way) are amazing. They are kind, intelligent, thoughtful, and generous. There were moments at conference when it was all but impossible to get where I was going because I kept running into really wonderful people with whom a “hi” and a quick hug just wasn’t enough. It got me thinking: Why is it that this movement has so many really amazing people? I think there are a couple of reasons.

First, cohousing attracts incredible people. People who are collaborative and compassionate are naturally drawn to a life of sharing and caring for our planet and for each other. Sure, every community has an occasional curmudgeon, but even they are usually pretty sweet underneath. It takes a certain kind of heart to choose this life and we’re lucky to have cohousing to draw us together.

More than that though, I think cohousing makes us better people. Living together reveals our rough edges - the parts of us that aren’t as collaborative or productive or inviting as we would like to be - and it helps us smooth them out, grow into our best selves, and become people who can live our values more fully. Sometimes we live our values better because it is easier to share and care in community than in mainstream America. Common meals and work days give us steady practice doing for others. Other times we live into our values because cohousing is hard, and it challenges us to dig deep and grow into the values we aspire to.  

Cohousers are the kind of people who love a keynote that not only praises our mission, but also provokes us to be more for those who need the most. (Thank you Courtney Martin.) They are the kind of people who welcome professionals in their same field as friends rather than competitors. They are the kind of people who share what they know, as much or as little as that may be, with the next person to come along. Cohousiers are amazing, and I’m so glad there are getting to be more and more of them.
New Directory - Needs Your Help
We are very excited about our new directory, and we need your help to make it really great because a directory is really only as good as the information it holds. 

If you are a cohousing professional, please list yourself in our free directory. If you know a professional who works in cohousing, please invite them to list themselves. This is especially important if they haven’t done a lot of work in cohousing before or if they are in a field that we may not think of as a cohousing field. Invite your insurance agent, your elevator company, your attorney. Professionals who already understand cohousing are gold for other communities. Please help us find them by inviting them to list themselves in our directory.

If you are looking for cohousing, please join our seekers directory. The first step in collaboration is to find each other. We’re hoping the Seekers Directory will make it a little less like Hide and Seek. 

The biggest part of our directory may also need your help. Thank you to all those who have created new and current community listings. If your community does not yet have a new and complete directory listing, please go to the website and create one. The new directory has new and improved fields, so the listings we ported over are not nearly as good as the real thing you can provide. 

For any directory listing, go to www.cohousing.org , click on Directory > Create a Listing. If you have any trouble from there, contact karencohous@gmail.com
Conference Intensives
Many months ago, a dedicated team gathered to choose from many dozens of submissions from people wanting to offer intensives for our Portland conference. We think they did a pretty great job, and we think the next team can do even better with your help.
If you attended intensives (or any sessions) in Portland, please offer your feedback about the sessions you attended and the overall program. What did you like? What needs improvement? What was missing? This feedback will be invaluable to the teams that plan 2020's Simple Series and the next National Conference in 2021.
Feedback welcome through Sched, or this link.
Stay Connected!
Now that conference is over, it's a great time to stay connected with the people you met in Portland or get connected with other cohousers near you. Visit communities. Plan a joint event with others in your area. Invite a neighboring community to share a common meal. Gather a few friends and give a public talk, not just to build membership, but to share the great idea that is cohousing. Don't be shy, it's never too late to reach out to someone you've enjoyed before or make a new friend. (And remember, Cohousers are amazing! See above.)
Thanks again to our Evergreen Neighbors. Many of you signed pledge slips at conference. Now is a great time to make those pledges real. You should have received an email reminding you of your pledge, though we understand some of those went to junk mail folders. If you pledged or would like to support CohoUS as an Evergreen Neighbor, you can complete your donation here. Thank you for your ongoing support.
The Cohousing Association would like to thank our newest Association Supporter, Fitch Architecture & Community Design

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