Looking for a bus tour to find community for times like these?


Picture yourself climbing on a bus with 18 other people in the San Francisco Bay area in search of community for a better way of life.  Fellow passengers, recovering from the last recession, are looking for a less expensive less isolated way of life of life that is better for their families in times like these.  The New York Times reported that the Cohousing Association recently ran this tour group.  If you want to take a quick virtual tour go to www.cohousing.org.

One of your fellow passengers on this tour stated they liked the idea of weathering the country’s economic and environmental crisis as a mutually supportive community.

Co-housing was invented in Denmark over 40 years ago.  There are at least 115 in North America and their numbers are growing.   Essentially it is like a new kind of cooperative housing alternative that operates like an extended family.

Everyone has their own 2, 3 or 4 bedroom units.  But instead of backyard and front yard they have one area where all the kids play together and another area where people garden together.   They also have a common dining room where residents share meals several times a week.  If a senior becomes disabled in the suburbs they are usually on their own.  But in co-housing people join in to do their shopping and help them with their chores.

One of our stops is the Temescal Commons in urban Oakland.  I believe that this is the first Christian co-housing community in the US completed in 2000. It has 9 units on a quarter acre plus a common building where people share meals together several times a week.  It was designed with high creation care values with high efficiency appliances and solar on the rooftops.  In fact they sell electricity back to the local utility and enjoy very low electric bills reports Chris Colin in “To Your Left, a Better Way of Life,” NYTimes, 6-11-09.

When we visited Temescal residents told us that they value a cooperative lifestyle… the ability to share child care, gardening, meals as well as times of prayer.  As a result of this model community they not only live simpler and more sustainable lives but they are able to free up more time to reach out to their neighbors in need.  They tutor kids who are struggling in the local school.  They do hospitality with those who are struggling and offer outdoor movie nights in the summer.

When we speak on Christian college campuses most students have heard of Shane Claiborne and the Simple Way community {that we featured in this post}.  Rarely have I found students that have ever heard of co-housing as an alternative to the suburban model.  I would welcome the opportunity to talk to any educator that would like to share this option with their students.

What is your candid response to the co-housing community option for times like these?  Write today!