Neurodiverse Village Retreat

by Nancy
Category
Forming Communities
Location
sunny location in Southern Oregon
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Neurodiverse Co-housing Village

In a nutshell….

Looking for others who wish to establish a sustainable, supportive, multi-age retreat community in sunny Southern Oregon for neurodiverse adults to live independently among others who share similar interests and lifestyle.

MISSION:

To alleviate social isolation, reduce system dependency, and prevent homelessness and displacement for individuals affected by autism. 

To foster independence, autonomy and a sense of belonging for neurodivergent individuals and support parents and guardians by establishing a multi-generational, age-in-place community providing support, companionship and inclusion.

VISION:

We aim to establish an affordable, multi-generational co-housing community designed for neurodivergent individuals, along with parents and partners who wish to accompany their loved one and age in place. This community is founded primarily for people who, without the lifeline of a steadfast advocate, might face insurmountable struggles to achieve an independent, comfortable, self-governing life. 

We will develop a solid foundation of near and familiar cohorts – people who care about each other rather than paid to care for each other – lessening social isolation and system dependency. As a community, we will employ those who can assist neurodivergent individuals with the practical aspects of day to day living by creating built-in supports, such as a shared financial advocate and transportation, allowing them to obtain and sustain independence and autonomy.

Our goal is for individuals on the spectrum to be living in a home they own, in a close-knit community on land that is established, so that when their parents or partner can no longer be present for support, their lives will remain stable. Parents may live in homes apart from their loved one and enjoy the support of the community as they retire comfortably and age in place. 

In design and construction, consideration will be given to the needs of highly sensitive individuals who experience ultra-intense sensory modes – for example, installing fans and soft lighting, and utilizing noise reducing materials- so that they may feel comfortable and at peace in their home and surroundings.

VALUES:

This nature-based community is founded with the unique needs of people on the spectrum in mind and for those whose lives have been touched by autism in some way. Along with a deep reverence for nature, this will be the common bond that unites us as a village. It is for this, first and foremost, that we are creating community – to alleviate the incessant and extreme social isolation that prevails for many neurodivergent individuals and their families.

Our community will not be geared toward commercial enterprise, which often only serves to magnify anxiety for those on the spectrum – impeding the wonderful potential one may naturally have to offer. Individuals will gain a sense of meaning and purpose and develop practical life skills by contributing to the community. An organic garden will be a centerpiece – where we work and play together – providing food for our community, opportunities to learn cultivation, preservation and cooking skills, and enjoy bonding moments of preparing and sharing nutritious meals.

As folks who highly value our individual privacy and alone time,  we aim to build modest abodes dispersed throughout the natural landscape so that each person may benefit from solitude as well as community.

We are spiritually eclectic, socially and ecologically progressive, politically liberal and left- leaning. We wish to live in an environment free from toxic chemicals, tobacco smoke and strong scents such as laundry detergents. 

WHO WE ARE:

We are parents who have spent our lives supporting and advocating for our offspring, who aim to enhance our own individuality, autonomy and independence – as well as our son’s and daughter’s – by establishing, and residing in, a community which will provide natural supports for parent and offspring alike, simply by other people’s presence, commitment and spontaneous companionship through proximity in a small intentional village.

We are neurodivergent individuals who are primarily independent, but who will benefit from living among others who we are familiar with and who we can rely on, as well as enjoy doing activities with, such as swimming and hiking.

Prospective residents thus far:

-Martin, 31, is an avid musician who plays keyboard, audio engineers his own music to create beautiful pieces for contemplation, meditation and transformational journeys. He loves the natural world, eating organic, meditation and yoga. He enjoys alone time and connections with compassionate others. 

-Micah, 44, is passionate about organic gardening, cultivating plants that attract bees and hummingbirds, and recycling- as well as finding useful free things on Craigslist. He enjoys swimming in natural bodies of water, snowboarding, music festivals, mushroom foraging and collecting colorful, shiny, sparkly, glow-in-the-dark things. He enjoys being around people in short bursts, preferring to hang out on the fringes.

-Nancy, 64, is a quiet homebody, watercolor painter, seamstress, and Jill of All Trades – master of some.  She revels in Americana, folk & Newgrass music, outdoor concerts, freestyle dancing, and hiking wooded trails. She enjoys potlucks, music around the campfire, organic gardening and landscaping and is interested in wild edibles, herbal medicine & folklore. 

-Rosemary, 67,  is a Clinical Psychologist who loves understanding people and helping them heal. Yoga and meditation practice is a cornerstone of her life, along with writing, reading, cooking, hiking, leading groups and world travel.

WHO WE ARE LOOKING FOR:

We are looking for people who wish to live a simple, natural lifestyle and whose values are compatible with ours. A pot-pourri of talents, skill levels, expertise, individuality and creativity is essential to cultivating a stimulating environment in which all residents can thrive. We are interested in meeting people who are creative, easy to work with, and ready to devote time and energy into doing the footwork it will take to bring this endeavor from dream to fruition, as well as contribute monetarily to securing shared land and building the home they will live in.

We invite neurodivergent individuals who have the ability to be self sufficient with minimal support, along with family and loved ones who possess a natural propensity for caring, sharing and greeting unconventional ways of being with compassion and patience. Prospective residents must understand that people on the spectrum may not always be able to participate, communicate, or cooperate in ways that community members might traditionally expect.

ADDENDUM:

The term neurodivergent is not a word we are compelled to define further, brand people by, or even use when we ultimately choose a name for our community. It is employed here only as a way of being transparent about the conditions of this endeavor.

WISH LIST – the LAND

– a sunny spot in southern Oregon

– nature based community resembling a woodland retreat

– enough acreage so homes are dispersed for privacy, with vegetation/trees as buffer 

– homes connected by trails to the main house

– meadow or pastures

– evergreen trees

– natural body of water – creek, pond, lake, other

– no poison oak, or at least not on the majority of the land

– biking distance to the nearest happening town

– fruit trees

– community garden 

WISH LIST – PHYSICAL STRUCTURES, LAYOUT & more

– modest, individual, self-contained abodes (each under 900 sq. ft.)

– community house

– parking at the entrance, allowing for only foot traffic around living areas

– storage shed/barn for shared tools & garden supplies

– covered area for bicycles & bicycle rack 

– outdoor kitchen

– fire pit

– community van 

– yoga /meditation temple 

 

If you are interested, please write and tell us about yourself and your loved one.

Contact: [email protected]