June 9, 2010

Accommodating the environmentally sensitive in intentional community living

With the publication of “Beyond Sustainability: Building for Health” in the summer issue of Communities magazine, re|shelter co-founder Julie Genser begins a new conversation with an existing global network of over 2,000 intentional communities and ecovillages.

Because many of these communities are chemical free in order to keep gray water systems pure for organic gardening, they might be part of an ideal solution for those who are homeless or struggling in unsafe housing situations due to environmental intolerances.

However there are several roadblocks, beginning with a lack of true understanding about the condition. Genser outlines the potential obstacles and lays groundwork for future collaborations, establishing her and Julie Laffin’s newly forming non-profit organization re|shelter as a focal point for beginning this important dialogue, of how to better accommodate those with environmental sensitivities in intentional community living.

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Community Feedback

  • eanderson

    July 23, 2010 at 10:51 am

    As the parent of a mcs/cfids daughter who has been looking for a safe place to live for two years, I can fully appreciate this re/shelter effort. Please keep up the good work. It is a hopeful sign in an otherwise dismal situation. Is it possible to publish a list of potentially safe housing and/or builders by geographic area?

  • Julie Genser

    July 28, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    Thanks for your comment. Please check http://MCSsafehomes.com for potentially safer housing listings. We do not have a national listing of safer builders but it is a great idea and we will put it on our to-do list. Sending lots of positive energy to your daughter in her search.

  • quail

    September 8, 2010 at 7:55 am

    I’m having trouble getting on Facebook and I’ve not received an email from the contact us. I am serious about trying to start a co-operative community for people with disabilities and I have them myself (migraines, grass and other contact allergies and food sensitivities). I would like to get a cooperative community started here with others who need a less polluted environment. I have 2 acres, food animals, garden and orchard but only hookups for one trailer. The extra bedroom and house needs a lot of work before anyone can use it (too much stuff). There may be arrangements made with other trailer-owners (such as a composting toilet, etc.). This could be a starting point as I don’t want to be a landlady.

    I believe that Environmental sensitivity and migraines, etc. are related. I have some brain damage and the sensitivities are getting slowly worse. I don’t use any more chemicals than I have to. I think that a cooperative community is important for those of us who want to live in community as most normal people don’t want to deal with the changes needed.

    Thank you for starting reshelter and the article in Communities Mag. I hope this works out. Please contact me. I am new to modern internet technology, by the way.


  • Julie Genser

    September 8, 2010 at 11:00 pm

    Hi Quail,
    We did not receive an email from you through our contact form. We commend you for wanting to move forward to create your own community with the resources you have available to you! We are in the early stages of forming our non-profit and we are focused on the legal details of that at the moment. Since our resources are limited we cannot divert our focus/energy to work on other projects at this time. Once we receive confirmation of 501(c)(3) status, we will be in a much better position to move forward with fundraising and projects. Thanks so much for your supportive note, glad you enjoyed the Communities Magazine article. Wishing you luck with your project and please stay in touch. Best, Julie G.

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