What did you like best about the workshop?
The workshop had a variety of engaging and fun activities for the participants and these were so engaging that they didn’t feel like work. They felt more like a game. I had the feeling that the people that were in the room hadn’t played games for awhile. We really enjoyed getting up moving around, sorting ourselves out, listening, talking and playing instead of working.
Perceptions before the workshop?
I expected that the workshop would be lecture and Q&A. It was nice that we started with introductions that were a game, we moved around a bit, then sat down for some more information and then we played with the information. You kind of kept that cycle going.
The other thing was that the information provided was the bottom line. We didn’t spend time building up to the argument and coming to the conclusion. [that sharing housing is needed.] I think everybody was ready to jump to that conclusion and you simply gave us one demographic about the numbers of people who live alone. Everyone said, “yep I’m there” and that engaged them from the start.
How has your perception changed?
I think that for the people who took the class including myself it added a level of energy and gave motivation for homeowners to plan ahead and to consider the financial future and their possible new place in the community. I think you got a lot of people across that threshold into a new room in their life. [bold added]
The vast majority of participants were women. I could see them become engaged in themselves. Some of them have spent their whole life being the caregiver, the nurturer and you could see that these women were shifting and taking care of themselves.
These women were really solo, that’s a kind way of describing their isolation. I have a fear, a concern, that lots of women are socially isolated.
This concept adds to our toolbox. It’s a new tool to address our housing crisis. We can’t build our way out of this of this crisis we’re not going to be able to throw enough money at it. We need to have a variety of tools and sharing housing is going to be a good addition to the single-family home model which is so popular right now.
Recommend this workshop?
Mary is the Affordable Housing/CDBG Program Administrator for the Town of Yarmouth, Massachusetts