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Inclusive Community Collaborative 102917

Oct 26, 2017|

AN INTERVIEW WITH ALICIA DELASHMUTT, FOUNDING NEIGHBOR AND SUSAN CUSHMAN, A VOLUNTEER, BOTH WITH INCLUSIVE COMMUNITY COLLABORATIVE, A NON-PROFIT BUILDING CO-HOUSING IN PORTLAND.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

This is that the scope and Entercom radio Portland public affairs program I'm Gary blocks of housing in Portland is a hot topic. Don't let us go this time we're going to explore a unique approach to housing. On the show this time I would like to welcome Alicia did last minute the founding member of the inclusive community collaborative. And Susan Cushman a volunteer also with inclusive community collaborative and also with united cerebral palsy. Curry will we doing today create thinks tennis is look I can't talk but I'm glad you do what it. Social concern if you what is this what is the inclusive community collaborative. The inclusive community collaborative is developing homes and community opportunities for. People that are typically segregated based on deficits and needs. So you think about what we do with our seniors are people below median in come and our people with disabilities. We usually build housing for them put them all together so assisted living group homes or institutions or Foster care situations. And low income housing. What we believe is if we bring people together based on their guests and strengths and the values of inclusive didian diversity we build a stronger community. So in those Smart segregated communities you don't really have anybody that has your back because everybody experiences the same challenges that you do. It often. Promotes more systems dependency later on down the road because you don't have a natural supports of your community members. And the way that we're doing it is we have a natural supports we care about each other we know each other and where there for each other now and in the future. So how is this different. Then say a group home. So a group home is typically all people with disabilities living and in a home. Supported by hired staff. And if I was one of the people with disabilities I wouldn't have a choice of who my roommates or who I live with who I dying went what I do I'd be limited. To what the staff can support and it would be based around that system of support. This is different because everybody owns a home were all living together people with him without disabilities people above and below median income. People Sydor seniors and children I'll living together in that community group. What about the support that need you to plenty typically give with the group home regular in this environment and so they support that you typically get in a group home is usually funded through Medicaid and that's based on. Your assessment ands and how those hours are those those supports are allocated to you. You can still receive that support in your own home. He don't need to live and congregants setting in order to receive support. So my daughter experiences disability. She has a a personal assistant that that helps her with things and and and done helps Foster friendships and community. In her actions. That personal assistant would still be with her during the day. On the only difference is when she comes home at night she gets to choose who were roommates are she gets to choose her community. People are that she socialized as swift and the special support to the community that's built in right there for her people that know her and her communication weighs in and her skills. And I there because they value her interaction with them. How's this different then a condominium. So macondo well it's it is a condom so are its three building set up in condominium. And styles so there will be HLA is and CC an arsenal that he. Atypical Condo you don't know who your neighbors are you might meet them in the holidays and maybe in the community around. Just sort of inadvertently. But this is a group of Tony to people who want to know each other. And that's their focus when they come in and buy a Condo here is I wanna know who my neighbor is I want them to know who I am so that we have. That. Sort of Ian natural interaction every day of saying you know hi Gary it's nice to see who has kids and you know they know a little bit about your life and we share in we share meals together. And we'll decide as a community how often we wanna dying and and what some of the activities that we do together but it's a more. Uncle living where everyone has their Alan. Private space that we also have shared public space that brings us together and we bump into each other more often and the architecture also supports that where in a typical Condo building. The architecture is much more. Pride that this is much more giving that opportunity both for public interaction and private teams very intentional. Very yet very thoughtful from the very beginning all the way through from. From Micah said the the location of the land and how that integrates with the community around it how it is designed and built. How the neighbors come together how we make decisions how we all support each other so it's it's a thoughtful process. Where did this idea come from. Well that's unique to Portland it's not unique Portland although we do have ten co housing in this vicinity. Overlay of how this is organized. We have ten co housing about two and housing organizations in Portland now. Originally this formed in Israel with the could blitzes and then in Denmark with co housing. And I'm not sure when it came to the United States I think in the eighties early eighties early eighties and there are a 158. I believe co housing organizations in the United States now. There's at least another 150 that are forming car on the books are on the drawing boards. And like I said there's about ten here that are in Portland so it's it's fairly heavy on the side of the coast. And where is the one you're involved with most where's that being designed and built so this is our home cathedral Park City inclusive community collaborative witches. Our nonprofit. Will be building multiple our home communities. In Portland area and hopefully throughout the United States and this is our first prototype development. What kind of interest are you seeing from people up losing yes I wanna be part of this I'm actually really pleased. Every 1 that I am talking to. Seems very excited about it it makes a lot of sense to them because we've. Often moved away from our families so we don't happen the national supports that families used to set up with a multi generations of grandparents helping parents. And and that type of support. But I'm getting a lot of interest just in supporters and also we've got about six or seven families that are very interested in buying a unit. In the our home cathedral park development. That's kind of where Susan comes in right Susan Cushman your volunteer with this organization right well IA and volunteering to put on an even to help raise money for the architect putt but my daughter marine. It's really neat very attractive to her because she needs just a tiny that is supports doesn't need a lot of supports a she doesn't mean. A lot of pain staff that are home but she lived in echo house and community. And she needed to change your light bulb she could just go to our neighbor she wouldn't have to hire something to come do that got her there's a few other thing she needs throughout the week but she doesn't need. Paid staff if she had been built in natural supports which is what creating community would be. What do you think of this project she's that was great it's a great idea I've been throwing it all over just because. The idea of not segregating people by eighteen come and by age or by disability but making community where everybody is welcome in sports each other me all the projects where you have seniors working with. Kids they're really successful everybody feels apart heaven feels important and and necessary to their community if they have a role the plane to support each other and and then you know Marsha Rosenberg talks about how we're all born with their desire to serve we are all naturally born with that desire to serve and were happy. When we can do something for somebody else. But our society doesn't really encourage that and so emerge when we have the opportunity to give in supports somebody outs at if somebody asks us let's say yes but. We don't always think to ask. So I'm I'm gonna do a big ask right now because we're gonna kind to pants to support the architect. I didn't realize architects kind of expensive come into the dark and so we you know wanna get this ball rolling and so on November 4 were gonna have a dance its neighbors space and Saturday November 4 from six denying. And we're inviting in the entire community to come join us. I'm putting together a playlist of super danceable music and even even some stuff for the new young people but suffer us older people through the but the fact is I always feel like Motown dealing dance music but I'm I'm there's a rap music they're sending me all kinds of music. And Bergen has had a wonderful bake sale we're gonna have some really fun raffle prizes. So we don't route planner did have game tables so people would only dance when I come and they get tired of dancing make incidentally some games but. It just a way to bring communities together which is what this is all about. What happened to the idea of community this has that changed. Lewis let me ask you to the idea community changed over the years like who are our neighbors not interacting with labors in the longer. I think we we are still community that we have pulled ourselves away from our neighbors and our families a little bit more. We often will pull into our garages and close the door behind us and then disappear and or houses without ever seeing our neighbors. In this community it's. Not just. The supports that we talk about for each other but it's the opportunity to have friendships and the opportunity not to segregate ourselves and caused loneliness in our lives. And I think we can we can do that. By being so separated from our neighbors and from our families and until we reach out and intentionally. Expose ourselves to the people to look around us. We slipped into our day to day lives and forget how important it is to be apart of the tried and we are naturally tribal animals you know we reach out and we connect with other people. But sometimes it's more of an effort than others and if you experience a disability or appear older. You oftentimes don't reach out you don't ask for help like Susan said. So it's the not allowing people the opportunity to come into your life. And this is allowing each other to be a part of each other's lives so that we. We thrive rather than. Suffer from being isolated. So super awesome. I'm so I do my own personal experience a little condominium I you sometimes see my neighbors and sometimes they go weeks without seeing consumers and we live in a pretty tight little. Condominium so this sounds. Ideal all getting together and being neighbors couldn't even tell me about the design of the building is it there are is each condominium going to be its own. Space will there be kitchens inside and yet yet so yeah it is the sometimes there's and shared meals right. So each Condo that it it is homeownership so personally I purchased a Condo. They have everything that your Condo has so kitchen dining space. Living space bedrooms. But the way that the community is designed is it's all around a centralized courtyard so a large outdoor space it's also divided up into smaller spaces so it doesn't feel like a football field in the middle of buildings. But we have done the public space which is that outdoor courtyard space and then we have decks that come off of decks patios come off a each unit. Facing the court Garretson absurdity. Semi public space if you're out on your deck. And then your kitchen and dining area is right off of that taxi still see. Your deck in the courtyard from their so that's part semi private space but that's when you're active during that the evenings are preparing meals. You can look out across the courtyard waving your neighbor if you're making a meal may be cheers and with a glass of fine or you know step out on your porch and ask other gays and and then as you move farther back interior that you have a living space and then years your sleeping space and that's actually towards the street which we. It normally think of the street is the activities on that press the activities on is that. Central hub of court parents face so it allows frown. Public semi public. Semi private to private space. And that's what the architecture and design all support. This type of living isn't for everybody right yeah if you don't really want to know who your neighbors are and your. And extremely private person and don't want someone saying hello TU I don't think you necessarily be comfortable but so are counter intuitively. It's really good for people who are. More interference because the need to go out and intentionally. Interact with someone. You don't have to go into town you don't have to go to pub. You can and be on your front porch and have as much exposure to your neighbors as you want and still have privacy where you can go and how to regain your. Your your energy so for the universe it's actually a really nice more passive way and for social interaction and he would think. Describe to me some of the people that are showing interest in including in this community. So I have my daughter and I actually will live there is called our home and so for this first development we want to make sure that. We are are living it so that we know what works and what doesn't work as we go and create other communities. My daughter is fifteen she experiences disability and she will need assistance throughout her life so eventually she will have a Condo herself. And I'll move on. Which is a euphemism for died probably. You know we got a good hair comes to prepare for that. We have two other people that experienced disability that are interested we have two older couples that are. Wanting to be a part of a community that are very interested and we have. A couple of young families that are interested so we have really a diversity. Again aged in town ability already and we want to. Reach Alex and I mean of course these are these are market rate units so. It's available that will be available on the market. It's. We don't discriminate but what we wanna do is make sure that we include. People kind of based on what the natural proportions. Ability and disability and age and income are in our community so that we're not overly weighted by a you know it. Middle class or upper middle class income families or subsidized units or people with disabilities or people that are over 55 so I think it's. It's going to balance itself out because of the intention and as people by and they're gonna wanna make sure that it's balanced out. By the intention and these are units that you or you can own yeah. So he did a homeownership model verses or rental model really again intentionally. People that experienced disabilities often are stuck in a poverty Luke because they don't have. The opportunity to build equity in their homes and they are also at pumpkin people that are below median income as well. Their risk of constant. Rent hikes you know you don't know the stability of your day to day life expenses because your rent could rise. Or your house is sold out from underneath you so this allows you that stability by owning your home. Knowing what your mortgage is going to cost and then if you get to do decide to move. You receive equity back from your unit and there are eight mile per. We are intending to subsidize eight units. Four of them will be at 60% are below median income 60% cities. And the other four will be at about a 100% or below median income because in Portland right now. Median income and market rates don't necessarily match. It could pick up into the garden for maybe not at all he gets a little expensive you're right if you can't tell me about some of the obstacles and other things are godly way we've been working on this. Well and as Susan said architecture and engineering and legal. Fees and setting up a Chile is all have an expense. We aren't a typical co housing community in that we are. People gathering together first and bringing our finances in to support this project. We are not happy tens or twenties at thousands of dollars to invest in the project right off so we're having to. Raise money to pay the what's called pre development costs of that architecture engineering legal fees marketing fees. Can't be positive aspect of that is it's not money and it's just spend wasted. That money when we sell all of the units comes back into the project and becomes the subsidies for the affordable units so sort of money to get used twice. But it's not money at it in hand right now so we are reaching out through this fabulous stance that Susan has been organizing. That is from six to nine on Saturday November 4 two neighbors states. That will help assist us with the with our architecture fees. We are taking donations we are nonprofit actually. Our nonprofit partner community vision is taking donations for us and asked acting as our fiscal agent at this time. And so that's that has been a little bit of our our challenge at this point and just getting rolling and we got interests to leave we have energy. Land via land we have a half an acre in the cathedral park neighborhood. Has a bridge view and a view of there with the West Hills and Forest Park. We're ready to roll we just need the money underneath listed kind of kick us off. That the political stakes to little spot on to them but they gonna let him do a neighbor you know anticipates gonna be kinda for sale how awesome it against a high end. So who's openly dual assuming about the mere partners I'm so. I have a lot of. Amazing partners that are helping it's it's definitely not just inclusive community collaborative that's doing this. Community vision. Two as an organization that's been in Portland for 29 years I believe. And they support adults that experience disability both and homeownership the supports that they need in their daily lives. And in employment. And they have purchased half an acre in the cathedral park neighborhood specifically for this project. So there at the land holders and have been partnering with us on these subsidies for the affordable units. Proud ground is on land trust in Portland they're also working with us on the subsidies for before Italy units as well as habitat for humanity. So we've pulled annie's great nonprofit partners to help you with what they do best. You DP is our developer. And they just recently developed the co housing the senior co housing on Belmont copd X commons you can so they are well versed in the pros and cons that the challenges of co housing and rewards of co housing and it also built. Many. Very successful long lasting projects here in Portland so there at. A strong development corporation. And I have several people that have stepped up Susan included as volunteers to help us. The rally people together and put the word out. The interior design association of America IATA. Has volunteered to. Help resource finishes and furnishings and coordinate that so it's just it's an amazing opportunity for people that want to give back in in. The multitudes of ways to help assist with pulling this diverse group of people together. You say there's ten of them Tinto housing projects in and around Portland currently written and make sure is unique. We call hasn't often is based on a I can list of values via people state what their values are whether they be to let it be Jewish co housing senior co housing eco co housing self sustaining co housing. Ours is inclusive and diverse again want to make sure we reach out to those communities. That are are often on the edge and not always brought in intentionally and and sort of overrun and disregarded because they aren't intentionally reached out to where offering opportunities. For families to build futures with their kids and their and their families together. Susan how did you get involved with during the stuck how come you're involved. Well because my daughter has. Experience is a disability as well and it seemed. Like a perfect fit for her is it is she going to be living there as well itself it's a little steep. So now she won't be letting us are very disappointed the topography of the land is pretty steep and she walks with a walker. Every day to support herself and her health and it's just a little too steep for her she doesn't feel safe there. So. But is Alicia said weekend. You know there's going to be another one and she'll be so excited to hear that again the ID you know she's 25 she's been thinking about moving out for a couple years but since she needs a little bit of support it's a little daunting she can't just. Rent an apartment and she's on disability and going to school which is great getting her degree to be appearing educator so once she gets a job she'll be able to ports to rent but can't really afford rent right now in Portland. So I'm so looking to the future for something like that that would be. That you know one of the things that we as parents it's kids with disabilities faces with the hex can happen rumor gone. He and so this feels like a a way to create community to support our children so that we can feels we can we can talk I think we got the. And have some peace of mind and he's right exactly and so on this feels like a really important step. Seems super report this is there really Portland thing to be going on Portland this that you grew retail and missing triggering cool inclusive sort of project. System really logical thing to do you know I mean when I'm talking to people about it they look at me like. Why are we doing now she's you know why are we doing housing and it's just for people with. You know disabilities aging below income why are we building more communities and more. The response that we've gotten from both the saint John's in the cathedral park neighborhoods we don't get not in my backyard response we get a yes this is homeownership. This is a community this is a asset to our larger community it's not a deficit in our community. And we want to make sure that we're reaching out to the folks in cathedral American saint John's is saying come be a part of us this isn't a gated housing development Beazer Homes. And we have a common community space we want to host neighborhood activities in our space as well. And something that Susan mention about the the topography of the site it is we are built on a hill because we go down to the lamb river. The units themselves are all universally designs so if you are in a walker or have wheels. Where building wider doors and zero threshold so people can each one in five of those experiences some type of disability within our lifetime. And are all at some point somewhat temporal temporarily able. Able bodied. So we are making sure that the access to the units and the site. Are compliant to 88 but she's right we are on a hill so getting back up to town if you're walking is. Is a bit of challenge you talked about getting some golf cart golf carts. He and I are left and then I guess she was trying to hello bill calls on the net underneath windshield if anything we can check out. We're gonna listeners get more information about this project. I mean you can go to our website inclusive community collaborative dot com. And it CNN again inclusive community collaborative dot com. Menu you can also Google are home Portland and we'll pop up in Google wonderful until some time in the date for the Indian. A dance is Saturday November 4 so we from yen Saturday November 4 from six to 9 PM. In the taper space dining Conte for space is at 54 and Belmont. So it's it's completely accessible it's Stanley friendly we want the kids are becoming more happy too loud. We don't have any Disco balls to you know start seizures so he'll be very family friendly so we're encouraging everybody to come. So like he says so Saturday November 4 six to ninety receives 54 in southeast Belmont necessities just in donations at the door 525 dollars and we will have a raffle in excel and we're happy to take other donations as well yeah. It didn't talk to us meet my daughter meet me meet some of the folks that are interested in living in this community and their authority meet the folks. He can do cool stuff. If he updated on the subject I'm well thank you thanks we'll show. Thank you we've been talking today with Alicia did last minute founding neighbor and Susan Cushman a volunteer both with inclusive community collaborative. Mitchell's bill is an Entercom radio Portland public affairs program.