The adults will show up any minute now, waken us to assure us that this is merely a nightmare and everything will be okay. Right? Then I remember that the “adults” are themselves the problem—Congress, ham-handed Rahm Emmanuel, tone-deaf obstructionist Republicans. It reminds me of the disturbing Leonardo DiCaprio / Ben Kingsley movie Shutter Island in which it became confusing to distinguish reality from a nightmare.
This nightmare is the new reality. The problem is that no one is swooping in to waken or rescue us.This graph illustrates the precipitous drop in civilian employment.Continue reading →
The idea of shared housing is born of the innate human need for social interaction. Having someone to communicate with, establish rules, and share goals with, is one of the most powerful tools for a healthy body and mind. Shared housing goes beyond aiding our mental state; it encourages us to improve our nutrition, begin an exercise program and even seek medical attention when necessary. Yet since the late 20th century, an additional benefit has been observed: its power to keep crippling addictions at bay. In this blog, we share the results of a powerful experiment which reveals that shared housing is already playing an important role in recovery and rehabilitation all across the US and overseas.Continue reading →
I should have known better but I didn’t. My track record at welcoming people into my life is not great. Loneliness is dangerous territory and caused me to overlook obvious and fatal character flaws.
Twice I married emotionally unavailable men with zero interest in growing or changing. At the age of 57, I impulsively rented my apartment, the cutest smallest in Chicago, to the Tenant-From-Hell and moved in with a friend who became the Roommate-From-Hell.
She and I were on the same page politically and environmentally so it should have worked. To be fair, neither of us are bad people but we both have strong personalities. She thought it was her apartment. I thought it was our apartment. I should have established my ground rules in the discussion stage: As tenants, we are equal in this apartment regardless of who was here first. Such a basic concept, how could it have been otherwise? It was a tough year but I learned a lot. Read more at New Community Vision
It is hardly news that our housing crisis is a train wreck of the first order. Because many well-paying jobs have been eliminated and contract work and part-time jobs have replaced full-time jobs with benefits, incomes have tanked. Today, housing cannot be built or rehabbed at an affordable price for low and moderate income people. “Affordable” means spending not more than 30% of your gross income for housing. Read more at New Community Vision
Hello committed social service professional,
I’m writing to propose an entirely new approach to remedy our malaise of economic devastation, housing insecurity and social isolation. The cooperative model is time-tested (Rochdale Pioneers began in 1844) and proven. The Mondragon Cooperative lifted the Basque region of Spain out of poverty starting in 1956. Today the region has 0.00% unemployment. In other words zero unemployment at a time when Spain’s overall unemployment rate is 27.2%.
The model also works closer to home. Cleveland, an impoverished area with a median household income below $18,500 has been revived by the Evergreen Cooperative, a co-op developed with support from the Cleveland Foundation, the Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, Case Western Reserve University, and the municipal government to create living wage jobs. It’s working! Read more at New Community Vision.
By: Jennifer Logan
For millions of people around the world, it would be fair to say that solitude could very much be considered an epidemic; as sociologist, Eric Klinenberg wrote in his book, Going Solo (2012), living alone is a relatively new phenomenon, virtually nonexistent prior to the 20th century. In 1950, less than 10% of all household were one-person households. Today, over 32.7 million people live alone. This amounts to 28% of all American households.
An enlightening study called Social isolation, loneliness, and all-cause mortality in older men and women, published in March, 2013 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, has found that there is an important link between social isolation and increased mortality. The study, which observed a group of 6,500 adults aged 52 and above, found that being socially isolated could cause people to take up negative habits such as smoking or consuming an unhealthy diet, and could discourage them from getting enough exercise. But loneliness and isolation are more than a problem for the elderly; research carried out by social psychologist, John Cacioppo, indicates that chronic loneliness can have a serious effect on important biological functions, increasing the risk of infections, heart disease and depression. Read more at New Community Vision
Stone Soup Ashland House (4637 N. Ashland) is now accepting applications for new co-operative members and summer subletters (June-Sept.)!
Established in 1997, located at 4637 N. Ashland Avenue, Ashland House is a haven for 17 community members and two children, committed to the struggle for justice and the importance of joy. Members are diverse in class background, education level, geographic origin, work-focus, gender identity, and sexual orientation. The house has many common spaces, 26 bedrooms (plenty of room for guests and hosting events!), a large kitchen and dining room, in-house laundry room, multiple study rooms or living rooms, de-sanctified chapel, sewing space, music room, art room, a garden and a side-yard. Community dinners are cooked Sunday-Wednesday and cater to vegetarians and vegans. Weekly house meetings occur on Sunday evenings, except for the first Sunday of the month which is reserved for community-wide Anti-Oppression Dialogues.
Learn more about our community on our website: http://ashland.stonesoupcoop.org/ where our membership application is accessible and let us know if you’d care to join us for dinner at our weekly Tuesday night potluck!
We encourage families with children to apply!
Our house is not wheelchair accessible, unfortunately.
We are pet-free and smoke-free. Smoking is permitted outside.
HUD’s Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP) has a grant totaling $12.8 million and has extended the application deadline to July 15th. It calls for applicants to “contribute significant amounts of sweat equity.” Right now, for many of us, sweat is what we have in abundance. Read more at New Community Vision
The fertile soil of the economic collapse and housing crisis compels us to think about new ideas that, in fatter times, would have been unthinkable. The distinction between the type of sharing and the type of ownership is important. Read more at New Community Vision
If you’ve had the privilege of living in a well managed home, you know that life is sweeter when dinner is on the table at 6:30 and you take leftovers for lunch.
We rarely acknowledge the financial, psychological and time saving benefits of living in a well organized, gracious home. Indeed, it was one of the complaints of the women’s movement in the 1970′s: homemaking is a skill, conveys tangible benefits, is grossly unrecognized and never compensated. Read more at New Community Vision