I want to create a mutually supportive, sustainable living community to benefit disenfranchised older women and am looking for others who may be interested in working on this with me.
The idea has grown from my observation of friends and acquaintances who, even though they have much to offer, as they age, they find themselves unable to find enjoyable, meaningful work (or work in their field) that adequately supports them and who live alone. This comes at a time in life for some when living a more meaningful life becomes more of a priority. My thinking is that together they (we) can pool resources (energy, time, finances) to investigate ways to generate income together, perhaps through some form(s) of cottage industry or services to offer the surrounding community. This could be in the form of selling surplus produce from a four-season garden/farm, offering massage (one woman I'm thinking of is a massage therapist), selling art or handmade crafts (I'm a potter) or offering classes, offering trainings in NVC, help with conflict resolution through Restorative Circles, day care services, elder care...the possibilities are endless. By joining together with an eye on sustainability, living costs can be reduced significantly for individuals, while improving the quality of life by helping each person engage in meaningful work and enjoy the social connection and community they crave. Some may receive various forms of subsidies, which only provide a marginal existence. How to raise the funds for such a project is still up in the air as is much of the conceptualization. I see it as perhaps being only partially self-sufficient in the beginning and working toward greater self-sufficiency as it develops.
I originally envisioned a large multi-generational community of people from diverse backgrounds to begin to breakdown the economically based social stratification that alienates classes, but I realize I need to narrow the focus if I want something to get off the ground. My thinking was to engage the one percent in a way that goes beyond just opening the purse and to serve the economically challenged by bringing them both together face-to-face. But then I kept meeting more and more women who need immediate help, who are suffering in their isolated circumstances, and I decided to focus on that population. But I'm keeping an open mind.
I long to contribute to finding a way to help women in their later years (after 45-50?) who find their careers, marriages, lives derailed and are without or with few supports, and who long to live in (and co-create) a safe, compassionate, mutually supportive, and somewhat sustainable community using the principles and teachings of NVC as guides to build community. This is a dream that could meet the needs of many people--not just the residents themselves, but also their families, friends, and the surrounding community--even the state, country, and planet. There is a great need here, and I believe there is a way to make this dream feasible and viable.
If this speaks to your heart, and you have skills and experience to lend to get this project going, please contact me!