Last fall I applied for a grant with my alma mater, Vassar College, with the hope to take a year off to explore what living in community might look like for me and millions of late boomers who are looking for alternatives to the predominant paradigm of aging in place.
I did not receive the grant but decided to make this project come alive as part of my Landmark Education Self Expression and Leadership program. It was during this incredible three month program that I met Donna Niemann, who heads up the Greater Phoenix cohousing group. We quickly realized our common passion and vision for what could be possible for living and growing in community here in Phoenix.
We both see a big void here in Phoenix. While there are many planned, gated golf communities, most of them are age restricted, not located in the urban fabric close to schools, churches, public transport, cool coffee shops etc., and the majority are homogeneous, in suburbs and expensive.
Back in May we started talking about going on a road trip to visit and interview already established communities in the western region to learn about best practices from a late boomer and female perspective. Things started falling into place.
Together, we gave birth to the project and blog: Two Chicks and a Guppy. After Labor Day we plan to take off for Utah, Colorado and New Mexico in September on the first leg of our journey. We will interview communities that fit our criteria and gather first hand research on best practices. Donna will be focusing on the design elements of the communities while I will be looking at the psychological, financial and social aspects. Some of our initial findings will be posted on this blog. At some point we hope to put this into a presentation or book.
We hope you will follow us as our adventure unfolds. If you feel so inclined, we welcome contributions to the “Gas up the Guppy” campaign. Stay tuned for more the details. We are self-funding the entire trip so any little donation helps feed the hungry chicks and guppy…
We welcome your questions, love and support. We will be sharing more directly from the Guppy soon.
Claudia and Donna