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The People in the Arena

Wow - my first blog for Front Porch – I’m excited and thrilled to be able to share some of my thoughts with you!

I believe this blog is important, and it will create a place for you to get to:

  • Know who we are individually.
  • Know what we stand for collectively and, most importantly,
  • Know the problem Front Porch is working to solve – ending isolation and loneliness for people with diverse intellectual abilities through cohousing.

Starting something as new and as necessary as Front Porch Cohousing isn’t always easy, to say the least.  The ups and downs of this project are, well, they’re a lot.

Think about it; our small non-profit organization wholeheartedly wants to revolutionize the lives of people with diverse intellectual abilities who choose to live in a Front Porch community.  It’s a daunting undertaking that requires creativity, innovation, and a lot of people to pull it off.  

Over the past few years through Front Porch, we’ve talked to hundreds of people about the vision to end isolation and loneliness by creating a community that is designed to foster connection and independence. (Although that seems like two ends of the spectrum, I would argue that you can’t have a good, solid connection without independence, but that’s a thought for another blog.)

When people hear about Front Porch’s vision, the reactions are usually joy, interest, and, quite honestly, doubt.

  • Joy, because Front Porch is what people are searching for even if they haven’t realized it yet.
  • Interest, because our vision up-ends two long-standing problems (housing and loneliness) and provides an innovative solution.
  • Doubt, because people find it challenging to believe in the possibility of revolutionary change.

I am so grateful for those who have stepped up to take an active role in helping Front Porch achieve its vision.  However, we need a lot more people.  Quite candidly, it’s been a struggle to get people to actively join us on this journey.  That has to be because we are not doing a good enough job cultivating, explaining, or asking for the help we need in the right way.large-For Blog Post 2

How do we get people to give their time and talent to help us move this project forward?

What are we not doing right to bring people who are excited about what we’re doing, who will benefit from this type of community to the table with their sleeves rolled up ready to create something new, creative, and amazing?

How do we educate the doubters who say it will never happen?  It’s too big, too different, too much?

Brené Brown is a well-known author and TED speaker. Her TED talk is amazing, and I highly recommend listening to it for many reasons. She said something in that talk that I will never forget, it’s a quote derived from a speech Theodore Roosevelt gave, and it goes something like this:

"It’s not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.  The credit belongs to the person who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, and who comes up short again and again.  Who at the best knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly".

I think about this quote a lot and when it comes to mind, I take a breath and thank the universe for the people it’s sent so far.  The people who have stepped into the arena and are striving valiantly to make Front Porch a reality. I also know deep in my soul that more people are coming to help.

So dear friend, I extend an open invitation for you to join us in the arena and on this journey.  Whether it’s your time helping us table at events or planning our upcoming tricky tray, your talent in grant writing, construction, or event planning, or simply your voice to spread awareness, your contribution matters.

If you belong to a group, anything from a local Chamber to a PTA or even a knitting circle, please invite us to attend to speak to your friends.  Help us spread education and awareness about the housing crisis and how we all can make the world a little better.

Together we can turn doubt into hope, obstacles into opportunities and dreams into reality. Please reach out to me and let me know how you’re comfortable to dare greatly with us – I promise, it will make a difference!