June is Gay pride month and the Rocky Corner Cohousing community takes pride in being an inclusive community. All are welcome here!
Please join us in celebrating our individual and collective ‘pursuit of happiness.’
“Gay pride or LGBTQ+ pride is the promotion of self-affirmation, dignity, equality, and the increased visibility of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people as a social group. Pride, as opposed to shame and social stigma, is the predominant outlook that bolsters most LGBTQ+ rights movements” (Wikipedia)
Summer is nature’s growing season
It seems that spring seasons are becoming shorter with each year and we’re heading right into summer temperatures after just a few days that are ‘spring-like.’ Everything turns green and nature explodes with beautiful colors all around us.
The official end of spring is the Day of the Summer Solstice on June 20 and our Social Circle is planning a fun event for the immediate and extended Rocky Corner community. Stay tuned for details!
Community Building – It all begins with a vision!
All cohousing communities start with a vision and, of course, a vision requires visionaries. Cohousing visionaries are people hungry for connection with others. Some learn about cohousing at their place of worship, or a group or club they already belong to (such as a food coop, for example). The need for community has been written and talked about more since the start of the pandemic..
Individuals and families are attracted to the strong sense of ‘community’ found in each cohousing group.
According to www.cohousing.org, successful communities engage in the following three interrelated processes:
Gathering resources: people, and money
Building the physical structures of the community: land, houses, and a common house
Building the relational structures of community: connection and group process
Group processes include many, and often time-consuming, steps:
1 Learn: get informed. Read. Visit communities. Attend conferences.
A willingness to learn, try new things and grow in the process are key to the success of a community.
Members must get to know each other, since they will not just be neighbors but active community members that work together to make their common vision come alive and find solutions to problems that arise along the way.
It is recommended that people in search for the ‘right’ community or tribe visit already functioning communities. This will give the visitor ideas what she/he/they are looking for. Organizations, such as Cohousing US (cohousing.org), the Foundation for Intentional Communities (fic.org), or Mid-Atlantic Cohousing (midatlanticcohousing.org) currently offer some virtual tours of communities and may soon be able to offer in-person group visits and conferences again.
2 Dream: Draft vision and values statements
Although communities often share similar values, the vision makes each cohousing community unique. Very often, individuals start attending meetings of an established group and then grow into a new community that better suits their needs and interests. The Rocky Corner Vision Statement can be found here: http://rockycorner.org/our-vision/
3 Organize: how will you communicate, share documents and resources
4 Form a Core group of three to five members. Begin marketing, host events, set up a website, etc.
5 Decide: Learn about different decision making processes and decide on one that works best for your community and ensures that decisions are made collaboratively.
Communities will often start with one type and find out along the way that it does not address the needs of everyone.
The initial Rocky Corner group, for example, invited CT Butler, the author of On Conflict and Consensus to learn about formal consensus. This really helped organize meetings and provided a way to reach consensus.
But, change is inevitable, and the group saw the need for a system that also provided a way to share the work. Together with other cohousing communities, they invited John Buck (the American who brought sociocracy to the US), Jerry Koch-Gonzalez, and Diana Leafe Christian to explain the functionality and benefits of Sociocracy. With Sociocracy, a General Circle and Sub-Circles were established to divide and organize the workload and decision-making went from Consent to Consensus.
6 Legal: hire attorney(s) to form an LLC, draft purchase agreement and other legal documents
7 Land: secure land with option to purchase or purchase it outright
Before Rocky Corner had its official name, the group created an evaluation tool that took into consideration individual needs, proximity to New Haven, land for agriculture, water features, etc. Although we knew about the Bethany property, we were only able to consider purchasing it after the 2008 recession, when the price dropped substantially.
8 Grow to 8-10 or more households. Increase marketing, events and investment
9 Relate: build relationship, process, and communication skills
10 Design Hire architect and design team
11 Expand to 80-90% of full community
12 Hire developer and construction team. Choose members to interact with builders
13 Bolster process and relationship skills. Continue training. Connect as a larger group.
14 Finance: secure the money you need to build your project
15 Break Ground and build buildings
Creating a cohousing community requires hard work and a lot of dedication. Thinking back, there are things that could have been done differently, but we did a great job staying focused on our vision. And, when we finally all ive at Rocky Corner, our vision will come alive.
16 Sellremaining units and begin wait list
17 Play enjoy each other and continue to build relationship and process skills
18 Plan common meals, reserves, cleaning, common house use, etc
19 Move in
20 Celebrate and begin the next phase of community building
As the last step already states, Community Building is an ongoing process and does not end with the well-deserved celebration that follows the move-in!
Maintaining a successful cohousing community requires effort, similar to any relationship between individuals, families, neighbors.
Construction at Rocky Corner is currently on hold due to a foreclosure proceeding. About two thirds of the homes are close to completion and the community that has worked on Rocky Corner for many years is engaged in discussion with the bank that holds the construction loan to ensure that the structure of the community remains one of cohousing.
We are working hard to achieve our goal of creating the first cohousing in CT – a friendly farm-centered neighborhood.
We are putting in the effort to maintain our relationships which is helping us maintain a sense of community even though we are not living at Rocky Corner yet.
We are a tenacious group of people who continue to follow our vision.
If this statement speaks to you and you want to look into living at Rocky Corner, we recommend that you start by attending an info session so that you learn more about our new cohousing neighborhood and where we are financially. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in attending our next info session on Zoom.
If our vision speaks to you and you would like to support us in our fight to complete Rocky Corner -the first cohousing community in CT-, please reach out to usat email@example.com and we will tell you how you can help.