Beautiful Baby Runa
Newest and youngest member of Haystack: Runa Ray, daughter of Casey and John in Chicago! She was born in March, during the initial month of Covid, so all the challenges of a newborn are likely amplified. Despite that, Mom says, “Runa is a smiley, mellow, hungry wee one who has completely stolen our hearts. Sam, older brother, is an enthusiastic diaper assistant with plenty of kisses for her each day (and perhaps the occasional whack as well—as all older brothers are wont to do). We look forward to meeting the whole family of four on their next visit to Spokane! This photo Casey sent in will show you why she’s a heart-stealer!
Homelessness and Cohousing—a Needed Niche
Our architect, Charles Durrett, did not rest up much during the first months of Covid. Instead, the time gave him the opportunity to write a book about a project he initiated and is understandably very passionate about: A Solution to Homelessness in Your Town: Valley View Senior Housing in Napa California. It’s a $2.99 e-book , that is full of inspiration and important facts about homelessness in the US. (The Amazon link seems to be temporarily down, but keep trying, it's worth it!)
In his introductory letter for the project Chuck writes:
These are interesting times. We humans are experiencing global hardships. There is an ancient Chinese saying, “Challenge is always accompanied by Opportunity.” Today, we can see the earth in the beginning stages of healing because people are awakening. We have realized that we need to share, to support each other, to stand up and fight challenges. And we have to do something about the 16,000 homeless people dying outside every year in the U.S. For example, a homeless person’s sleeping bag was confiscated by the police here in Nevada County because they didn’t approve of him sleeping under a bridge. Then the man, a native American, died that night of hypothermia. This is just one of too many sad stories. Today 40% of the nearly one million homeless people in America are African Americans, many are native Americans.
...This new community of 70 cottages averaging 500 SQ each was inspired by cohousing design, and by the desire to build community. It is the antithesis of warehousing people. It is the epitome of trying to set people up for mutual support. Read about this intriguing story of how a “project” went from single-building homeless shelter to a village solution. Read about how the virtues of the biggest asset of all, the people themselves, was not left on the table.
Chuck would love our help in promoting his work to city councilors, city planners, and city/town developers. The book chronicles the development of the project—including Chuck’s brainstorm while sitting on the hillside site to imitate San Francisco’s Lombard Street to deal the incline. You’ll find the book wonderfully illustrated, clear enough for any layperson (and city councilwoman/man) and indeed a true piece of positive news in this challenging Covid era.
Moving Dirt and Making it Pretty on Site
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