CoHousing Solutions Newsletter | March 2021
“If more people are going to experience living in authentic communities, we need more professionals trained to support people creating community.”
-Katie McCamant

The Role of Professionals in Growing Cohousing
Last year surely showed us the importance of creating more cohousing and authentic community. As we grapple with pandemics, climate change, smaller family support systems, and an ever growing need for compassion in our diverse world, cohousing neighborhoods offer great places to live, grow, and learn as we struggle to find the humanity’s best way forward. And the allow us to use less of Earth's resources in the process.
In my three-and-half decades helping creating cohousing communities, I have found that the role professionals play in continuing the growth of the cohousing movement is often under appreciated. They bring lessons and best practices forward to future communities, they maintain regional databases of people interested in cohousing, and build long-term relationships with bankers, attorneys, land brokers and other professionals who future communities will need to work with. I have seen the benefits of my professional relationships developed over the last 30 years of cohosuing work in Northern California, and more recently all across the country. For instance, I was quite surprised when it is was my contacts (not the local developers) that secured financing for Village Hearth in Durham, NC and Skagit Cohousing in Anacortes, WA.  

The realization of the importance of professionals in this field inspired me to create the 500 Communities Programa year-long virtual training to bring more professionals into the field and pass on the lessons learned from the last three decades. If more people are going to experience living in authentic communities, we need more professionals trained to support the creation of those communities. And it’s worked! Over 20 people from across the US, Canada and Australia have graduated from the program. You can learn more about what some of the graduates of last classes are doing below and on our website.

We are now recruiting for the fourth 500 Communities Class, and will be accepting applications until June 15th, and the class will start in September 2021. If you are interested in learning more about professional roles in community development and the 500 Communities Program, join me at one of the upcoming events (listed below) to learn more and ask your questions.
Katie McCamant
CoHousing Solutions President
Upcoming events where you can hear Katie McCamant speak about cohousing and the 500 Communities Program

April 14th - 4:00 - 5:00PM Pacific
Join Katie McCamant and Foundation for Intentional Community in a webinar about Collaborative Development Professionals; professional fields, hiring or getting hired, and how to become a professional.

April 28th - 6:30 - 9:30PM Pacific
Join Katie McCamant and the Northwest EcoBuilding Guild for a discussion about cohousing and sustainability.

April 28th - 6:30 - 9:30PM Pacific
During this Webinar Katie McCamant will be introducing the 500 Communities Program, and talking about the program details.
Here are two women who graduated from the 500 Communities Program and are now CoHousing Solutions Affiliates bringing cohousing communities to life in very different ways.
Shelly Parks, CoVision Consultins
Shelly Parks had a nationally recognized career leading Sales and Marketing teams for Continuing Care Retirement Communities. In her search to answer the question, “How can we do this better?” Shelly discovered the cohousing movement, and the 500 Communities Program. After enrolling in the program Shelly launched Covision Consulting, and now works full time as a sales and marketing consultant for cohousing communities, helping them to be their most effective at finding their future neighbors. She also helped sell out her own community, Skagit Commons in Anacortes, WA, which is now under construction.
“I am so excited about the experience that Shelly has brought to the cohousing movement, helping us to reach more people and communities to be more effective in their outreach. Cohousers are very enthusiastic, but few have any understanding of the sales process.”  
-Katie McCamant
With her experience, Shelly is adaptable in meeting groups where they are, and supporting them in refining their marketing efforts. Through workshops, implementing Customer Relations Systems, community coordination, and her consulting services, Shelly is changing the way cohousing communities navigate their membership process. Shelly's current client list includes: Washington Commons in West Sacramento, CA, Heartwood Commons in Tulsa, OK, Alpenglow Cohousing in Ridgeway, CO, River Song Cohousing in Eugene, OR, Juniper Hill Commons in Harrisonburg, VA, Our Home Cathedral Park in Portland, OR, and Mosaic Village in Calgary, AB Canada.
"I came into the program knowing that my focus would most likely be on supporting communities on their membership recruitment. But what the program gave me was a comprehensive overview of all the various pieces of cohousing development. This "big-picture" view gave me the ability to understand how my focus fits in with the overall development process and thus be a better professional partner with my clients".
-Shelly Parks
Desiree Kameka Galloway, The Autism Housing Network
Desiree is the Director of the Autism Housing Network for the Madison House Autism Foundation, and a recognized disability housing expert. Desiree found cohousing, and the 500 Communities Program through her mission to create more housing options for people of the neurodiverse community.
Desiree’s work is focused on researching housing models like cohousing, and advocating on issues of autism in adulthood, and consulting with existing and emerging residential projects. She is the co-author and co-editor of the newly released A Place in the World Report & Housing Market Guide and  is cited in media outlets such as Rolling Stone Magazine, NPR, Psychology Today and ABC News. She has spoken nationally and internationally at prestigious events such as the UBS Global Autism Innovation Roundtable, Great Minds Coming Together on Autism International Conference, United Nations World Autism Awareness Day, and at the National Institute of Health (NIH) to the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee.
If we want to see more cohousing communities come to life, we need more people like Desiree and Shelly to incorporate cohousing into their professional portfolios. If you believe that the 500 Communities Program could help you bring the world of cohousing into your career, let us know! We love hearing from interested individuals, groups, and communities about how we can better serve the cohousing world.

The 500 Communities Program is
now accepting applications!
We're Here to Help!
We provide development consulting services to help you create your sustainable neighborhood. Our team pioneered the development of cohousing in North America, and we have helped create dozens of successful communities.
Our newest venture involves training passionate cohousing entrepreneurs through the year-long 500 Communities Program.
CoHousing Solutions
(530) 478-1970
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