Nancy — I have been interested in Cohousing since 2006 when I first became involved with a forming community in Crozet that unfortunately didn’t get off the ground, and am delighted to find this new (to me) community here in Richmond.
I was raised in a fairly religious family of 6 and did full time volunteer youth work with the Church of the Brethren in the 70’s for 5 years – 2 in Chicago and 3 in Northern Ireland. I have enjoyed travel my entire adult life with many visits to Europe, 3 months in Sierra Leone, and a month recently in New Zealand. After some travels in Europe in 1988, I became the single mom of Alex. When he was 2, we moved to Virginia to join Innisfree Village, a life-sharing community with adults with intellectual disabilities next to the Shenandoah National Forest. I wanted a village for my son to grow up in and it was a good choice. I stayed for 27 years, starting as a Houseparent and eventually serving as an Associate Director. I had the privilege of bringing in about 200 folks from around the world to join our community for a minimum of one year. Many are still good friends; from Kyrgyzstan to Michigan to Zambia. I retired from Innisfree in 2019 and have taken this new step of life in another form of community here in Richmond.
When not at work or traveling, I sang in a women’s choir, formed various book groups, performed in community theater, and enjoy cooking for friends and playing board games. I’m happy to be living closer to my son and hoping to have still more travel adventures.
Rachel and Theo — Rachel enjoys good conversation, painting & drawing, and listening to podcasts about pretty much any topic. Theo loves craft beer and cocktails and learning the ins and outs of new cities.
We both love trying new foods (and beers!), traveling, playing and snuggling with our dog, Ginny, and sharing meals with friends and family. We are both in the healthcare field—Rachel is a nurse and Theo is a surgical resident. We love learning and talking about medicine together.
We moved here from Vermont to be closer to Rachel’s family in Charlottesville. We’re so excited to have found this wonderful community where we will know our neighbors well and where our [future] kids will have many playmates and mentors. Having moved around a lot since college, we both miss the feeling of being deeply rooted in community (and being able to spend time with friends without much planning effort).
Barb & Dave — Barb and Dave are new to Richmond Cohousing, having just joined in July. As empty-nesters with a four bedroom house in the suburbs, we were ready for something different and decided to explore all alternatives. We attended an information session and a potluck and were sold on cohousing. We met a great bunch of very sincere, hardworking people that were truly committed to creating a multi-generational, inclusive community. It has been one of the best decisions we have made in our forty-some years together.
Dave loves the outdoors and is thrilled to be so close to the James River. Barb love to read and cook and have long conversations. They are both looking forward to living in Richmond, walking along the James River, and spending time with friends.
AJ — I was born and raised in Baltimore, MD. As a child, I spent summers on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. I loved being on the Chesapeake Bay, swimming, boating, crabbing, and the exploring the marsh mud! As a teenager, I attended summer camp in the White Mountains of New Hampshire where I learned to canoe, hike, and live with 7-8 other campers in a cabin for 8 weeks – perhaps a precursor to co-housing? I’ve lived most of my adult life in Missoula, MT where I have continued to enjoy the outdoors, hiking, biking, and cross-country skiing. I worked in the Information Technology department for a local hospital, supporting doctors and nurses with analyzing hospital data to improve patient outcomes.
In the mid 1990s I began practicing Buddhism in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh. Ten years later a yearning to better understand Christianity (I grew up Methodist) took hold and I attended seminary in Berkeley, CA. After graduating in 2006, I wanted to understand the persistence of racism in the United States and I began to read, study, and reflect on our racial history as a nation. Since 2013 I’ve been teaching classes to support people of European ancestry to better how concepts of race shape our lives (as well as the lives of people of color) in the United States. “How can we have a more equitable, just, and caring society?” is a question that motivates me.
I’ve been eager to live in a more community-focused configuration for at least a decade. During my time in Berkeley, I met a friend living in an Oakland cohousing community and I became interested. Cohousing appeals to me because it provides a blend of both private and community space. I’m excited to live inter-generationally with children, seniors, and those of us in between. Oh, and I like to eat and try new foods – and food always tastes better with friends!
Meg & David — Meg loves to bake, bike around town, and read any and all fiction books. David loves to play dice and strategy games, bake bread and pizza, woodwork, and is a TV and movie buff. We’re always up for trying a new restaurant. David works at a large financial company and Meg works at a university hospital (you can probably guess which ones!).
We moved to Richmond to be closer to family when we had our son and are so glad that all three of us will have the extended community and playmates found in cohousing. We’ve always talked about living where we really know our neighbors and are thrilled to find that here. (And speaking of family – we will be REALLY close now, as Meg’s parent’s are also members!)
Ann — Ann’s focus has been whole person development through counseling and coaching practices. Her second love is a concern for building dynamic food systems and healthy eating. She’s volunteered with many community gardens and continues this with Tricycle Urban Ag’s farm a block from the Richmond Cohousing building. She loves reading on a wide variety of topics and is a systems thinker who is very excited about the changing systems that will be forthcoming in the near future. Her favorite quote is by R. Buckminster Fuller: You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the old model obsolete.
Laurel and Karl — Laurel loves to bike, hike, spend time with friends, study plant-based nutrition, and try out new recipes. Karl plays soccer and electric bass, and loves being outdoors. We both enjoy spending time around the James River and are both employed by local school divisions.
As we tour colleges with our youngest child, we are reminded of how great it was to live in college housing with friends all around us. We are excited about returning to this experience, allowing for more time to enjoy friends while playing and working together. We look forward to decreasing our carbon footprint, sharing resources (why do 30 households need 30 lawn mowers?), enjoying delicious food with our neighbors, and finding more time to have fun.
Leslie and Jack — We moved to Richmond from New York City in the summer of 2015 and found Richmond Cohousing via Meetup. We didn’t know anything about it but immediately felt a connection. We are enthused about the opportunity to create community where sharing and caring are common place; and where the inevitable disagreements are discussed in an atmosphere of tolerance and respect. As former New Yorkers we are used to living in close proximity and understand the benefits of working to create community instead of just living near each other. We are looking forward to eating, chatting, discovering and adventuring together. In particular, we are glad that people in our Cohousing group also want to be a part of, and not apart from, the larger community.
Jack is long retired from New York City’s Department of City Planning; Leslie works in the administration at VCU. Jack got hooked on Charles Darwin years ago and cannot let Leslie alone without mentioning a new nugget of information. He tinkers (i.e. does not play) the guitar. He has written several songs, a couple of poems, one screen play, and in incomplete form, several others (nuttin’ published, but who cares!). Leslie likes trying out new things as long as they don’t involve heights. She loves to swim and read but most of all talk about food.
Kathryn — I value connections with my family and friends, and being outdoors. I enjoy hiking, canoeing, kayaking, and camping. I also find pleasure in food preparation, laundry, gardening, walking the dog – activities that ground me. I work as a midwife where I am blessed to witness amazing transitions, love, and the very deep of living.
When my last child left for college I came to the surprising realization that my life epitomized the trappings of the middle class in America. I wanted more community, fewer possessions, and a smaller carbon footprint. I joined Richmond Cohousing in late Fall of 2013 with the hopes of creating a lifestyle more in line with my values. I am enlivened by building a cohousing community with others! Lots of challenges and lots of rewards!
Susan — Susan is a native Floridan (how many folks can make that claim!) by way of the Wash DC area for last 30 years. Richmond is her next home as it seems like a great place to live – a commitment to the arts, several colleges, university, medical center and fun outdoor activities almost year round. Richmond Cohousing offered a way to move to a new city and still be surrounded by friends and a community. Susan is an avid contra dancer and can often be found waltzing at Glen Echo Park in Maryland. She enjoys reading, jewelry making and urban hikes that end in museums and coffee shops. Susan maintains a small private practice as a dietitian-nutritionist and was trained as a spiritual director at the RUAH School of Spiritual Guidance at Richmond Hill.
John and Caroline — John loves to play board and card games, play ultimate frisbee, brew and drink craft beer (the former at a novice level, the latter at nearly a professional level!), hike, and read science fiction, current events, and educational philosophy. He is a math teacher in a psychiatric hospital for children. Caroline loves to exercise, cook (vegan and non-vegan), watch movies, check out classic architecture, and read mysteries. She is a former children’s library associate, teacher, freelance writer, restaurant server, and documentary producer. John and Caroline currently live in Oregon Hill, and enjoy commuting via bike around the city.
Cohousing particularly appeals to us because we want to have close relationships with neighbors, and have people around more often. We hope that in cohousing there will be regular social interactions without the extra effort it sometimes takes to coordinate get-togethers. We also hoping for more efficient sharing to save resources and money for everyone.
Diana — I have arrived back from whence I came, back to my hometown after my cross-country quest. I have returned to teaching and to my artwork – landscapes in oil from my journey. Having spent 7 months on the road with my dog, Sam, I make one hellava campfire (though still unclear on gourmet campfire cooking). I am very active swimming, riding my bike, kayaking, and hiking with my pup. I’m very fond of movies, good reads, and excellent food. I have to be honest here; I cook only when no one else will, but I can do dishes like a pro.
I am lucky to have close friendships and a strong spiritual community through my Quaker Meeting. I am excited and determined about Richmond Cohousing; excited at the prospect of living within an inter-generational community with all that it offers in activity and support and determined to work hard to make it happen.
Adele and Charlie — Charlie is a retired mathematician and statistician whose career was devoted primarily to bio-medical research in genetics. In Richmond, he was part of MCV’s Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics. Charlie is an avid reader and history buff. He’s also fascinated by astronomy and other sciences. In his past lives, he’s been a runner, a bicyclist, a woodworker, a yogi, and a peace activist. He’s always been drawn to children and animals. His favorite pastimes now include watching documentaries and good movies with his wife, Adele, or reading New Yorker articles aloud to her and discussing them with her as she cooks; collaborating long-distance with their daughter, Dell, from time to time editing Wikipedia articles; and taking daily walks with his dog, Livvie. He also has an older daughter, Katherine, from a previous marriage, who’s earned her PhD in genetics. Although he’s a classic introvert, Charlie loves good conversation—even the occasional stimulating argument—with close friends and family.
Adele is retired from the UVA Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service. Her job involved coordinating conferences for the Local Government Attorneys of Virginia, Inc., a nonprofit organization for attorneys across Virginia who represent counties, cities, and towns. Adele spends time out with friends, at some function of her church – First UU of Richmond, or at grassroots community organization like the Sierra Club. Adele shares Charlie’s love of animals and children. She’s also a new vegetarian and enjoys learning all she can about food, nutrition, and cooking. She’s had a lifelong affair with words and writing that finds at least some expression every day in playing “Words with Friends” with her daughter, Dell, in Atlanta. Adele also stays reasonably fit – and happy – by walking three days a week before work with two close friends.