Thank you for your participation in our first Community Conversation to
Envision Ohana.


We loved meeting with you, listening to your ideas, hearing your stories, and seeing your enthusiasm for

building an intergenerational intentional community in Spokane.  This page is for you...a summary of the night's table discussions...and one of the videos that prompted so much great conversation! 

And a big Ohana "THANK YOU"  to WSU senior Mica Rood--who helps us with all sorts of projects--for sorting through and compiling this information! 

ENVISION OHANA participants on the possibilities for shared neighborhood experiences, activities, resources and space. A revealing conversation
about the rich opportunities we can imagine...
In a home or neighborhood you might choose, what
needs to be private?
  • Private deck/balcony garden space
  • Living and sleeping areas
  • Family meals
  • Utilities
  • Family time
  • Personal space
  • Work space
  • Space between homes
  • Personal belongings
  • Bathroom
  • No gossiping
  • Private time
  • Bedroom
  • Bathroom
  • Personal space
  • Income and Finances
In a home or neighborhood you might choose, what could you imagine sharing?
  • Green spaces and equipment for upkeep
  • Woodshop...It struck me when I realized I have an entire woodshop for my use only!
  • Community garden
  • Community pool
  • Transportation
  • Child care
  • Gathering space/kitchen
  • Gym
  • Cultural Activities
  • Library
  • Recreation (puzzle, art, yoga, pool and ping pong
  • Worship
  • Outdoors activities 
  • Playground
  • Workshop
  • Car/van
  • Knowledge/skills
  • Common Area
  • Creative activities--art, music...
  • Outdoor space/fire pit
  • Meals
  • Responsibilities
  • Vision
  • Pathways
  • Community gardening
  • Community meals
  • Allocation of goods produced
  • Car pooling
  • Access to childcare
  • Learning experiences/trial error
  • Worship
  • Performing stage
  • Dog Park
  • Skill sets
  • Sensory Gardens
  • Costs 
  • Decision Making--governance, conflict resolution
  • Activities of Service to the wider community
  • Hospitality--guest rooms, guest facilities, invitation to neighbors outside of Ohana.


ENVISION OHANA participants on the diffference between their neighborhood experience and those described in the cohousing video and Ohana presentation.  All of the information was gleaned from the work done in table conversations, introductions, and parting comments...
In our neighborhoods...
  • Hard to know neighbors/socially:  we drive into our garages and close the doors behind us...our homes are designed to maximize privacy..we wave but don't really know about our neighbors...we drive to find our our friends elsewhere...if we make friends in our neighborhoods it's accidental or luck.
  • No common spaces...or few common spaces, limited to outdoor activities...only a few people use the green space in my neighborhood...
  • It takes a lot of work to build relationships in my neighborhood, and only a few people care to participate...people don't take the time...don't know our neighbors at all... My neighbor's son was sick for a year and recently died...many of the neighbors didn't know.
  • No walking paths in our neighborhood, only out in the wider community.  We have to drive kids everywhere, even just a few blocks away...don't know about the safety...
  • Homes are built to private preferences with little regard for universal accessibility...people move away when they can't walk down stairs..or when they can't keep up the house.
  • All the houses around us are HUGE...all the private yards around us are HUGE!
  • In our neighborhood the houses are too expensive for my parents to live rentals
  • My daughter has no friends here...she has to go to school or a community center...
  • "I gave my neighbor a key when I went on vacation, but I was uncomfortable--I don't know her well enough."
  • Our neighbor gets all her food from Meals on Wheels.
ENVISION OHANA, the first of three Community Conversations to be held over the next six months, was planned to introduce BUILDING OHANA to participants, and to facilitate conversations around the VISION of an intergenerational, intentional community in Spokane.  Inevitably, ENVISIONING led to issues central to the PLANNING phase of Ohana--and we've included your planning questions and ideas below. You'll be hearing from us on these subjects over the coming weeks, and at our next Community Conversation be scheduled soon!
  • How would the community members be selected? Naturally evolving? By application? What are the ideal ratios of diversity (Age, ability, sex, religion, race, etc)? 
  • What kinds of resources are necessary?
  • How would community/shared items and spaces be paid for and kept up? Would this get expensive? What if you don’t use some resources? Who would be responsible for caring for shared spaces? Would this be assigned?
  • What is the/a realistic timeline or completion of a project of this size?
  • Would living in a community like this be cost prohibitive?
  • Is there a risk of becoming an enclave?
  • Can residents have private lives?
  • Conflict resolution--who and how would we address that? 
  • Where will Ohana be built?  
We know that your table conversations were rich. Thank you for recording ideas that didn't necessarily fit into a question category...Here are some of the appealing ideas you recorded about cohousing and intentional community in general...
  • Shared facilities offer tremendous potential for helping people who might not have what they need.
  • Diversity of age/multigenerational
  • A healthy interdependency/a “buy-in” from start
  • Four levels of privacy
  • Idealistic
  • Green-aesthetically pleasing
  • Helping neighbors through hard times
  • Progressive, but familiar...feels like family...
  • Community garden, gym
  • Worship--the potential to share spiritual life linked with everyday relationships
  • Would be a great place for people and their pets!
  • Complementary skill sets--shared human potential
  • A place where everyone can contribute something!
  • Sensory gardens
  • Universal design--for young and old
  • Transportation--car pools 
  • The unmeasured, unlimited potential of people working together..



...thanks again for being a part of