November 14, 2019
November 17 Open House postponed because of weather.
Don't miss out. Only a few homes left.
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A 55+ intentional community for LGBTs, straight friends and allies

Village Hearth Open House
Canceled because of Weather and Site Conditions

It's Getting Real!

Our community is really shaping up!  All the buildings are up and the shingles are on!  Windows and doors are in and siding is being prepped for painting!  Now that we are getting all “tucked in”, weather permitting, we will start to see the rough grading of the property by Thanksgiving.  The curb and gutters at the Buttonbush Drive entrance are done, and the parking area grading is complete  The retention pond is getting its plantings soon.

On the people side, many of our community members are busy planning for the estimated completion date – April 14, 2020.  There is downsizing to do, some are selling a home, and a few have already started the move to Durham.  Linda came in 2018. Eleanor arrived in the fall of 2018, and Barbara moved here this month from Boston. Jane will be coming from New York in January, and we’re looking for Lisa to arrive from Dallas in February. 

A front view of Quad 3

The view from our entrance at Buttonbush, looking towards the Common House

There are meetings weekly to explore many of the policies and rules that it takes to form an intentional community.  We have plans for an electric car charger, a community garden and walking trails on our other 10 acres. One group is considering having chickens, and Mary has signed up for a beekeeping class – there might be an apiary in our future!

Some fine grading around the community is done, a few sidewalks are in, and part of our parking area is paved.  Our retention pond is finished, and the recent rain has proven it is working as designed. 

Inside the Common House

Stormwater that falls on Village Hearth will flow into the first retention pond. Sediment will settle there until the level is high enough to go over the rock-lined spillway into the second pond where it will settle some more before moving into the Durham sewer system. I think you can see here that the water in the second pond is significantly clearer than what is in the first pond. 

An aerial view of the site. This was taken in October. Many changes have taken place since then.

We made the final decisions on our termite treatment (bait stations because of health and safety concerns), surge arrestors, trash corral size, and the painting matrix of our exterior colors.  Next, we will be deciding where we want to place rocks for landscaping, choosing the colors of our shade sails, and planning for a generator at the Common House. 

Hard to believe it's only about 5 months before we start moving in!
Only a few homes left. Learn more at and call Margaret at 
561-714-8009 or email Pat at 

Getting the Word Out

You Can Help

We began this amazing journey in 2015. Finding our tribe has been a major part of it. We started slow, but it has been gathering momentum year by year. Hard work by members with help from friends and interested people has gotten us almost to the finish line. Just a few more homes to sell and even if you aren’t going to join us, there are some little things you can do to help.

A recent analysis of the people who signed up for our newsletter during 2019 showed us that the Internet, Facebook, and word of mouth are far and away the most important ways people find us now.  Sally Clark and Tracy Goetz, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, have been very helpful in connecting us with people who can help us make better use of social media. During our upcoming weekend workshop, we will be videotaping interviews with some of our members to be posted on Facebook and Youtube. Watch for us to be ramping up our online presence.

Our Facebook page

There are three simple things you can do to help expand our reach:
  • If you are a member, add to the signature line of your email correspondence.
  • If you use Facebook, like our page, here, and share our posts.
  • If you use Twitter, follow our account, @VHcoho, and retweet. It’s not very active right now, but we’re working on it.
Talk to people you know about cohousing and us.  We believe, not just in Village Hearth, but in the concept of cohousing. We think people need to know about it, and we hope you do too. I think you will find that people are interested once you explain it.

We love to talk about Village Hearth. Here are some of our latest conversations.

Margaret fields phone calls and emails from people daily. If someone wants to know more after the initial exchange, she hands their name off to another member for follow up.

Jolene Zajicek from the Key West Art & Historical Society. Patricia, I hope you had time for the Tennessee Williams exhibit.

Emma, Key West Hospitality Inns, shows off our flyer. I love the beach colors.

Patricia is particularly adept at “guerilla marketing.” She passes brochures and flyers out to anyone she thinks would be interested in cohousing and Village Hearth. Recently Tami and Patricia visited Key West, Florida. In their walks around that picturesque town, they talked to people in shops and asked them if they would post a flyer for Village Hearth. Some were happy to share our flyer with their customers, so we'll share them with you. If you should be visiting Key West, stop by and say hello to these new Friends of the Hearth.

Hakan Metin wanted us to show off Art Point, his beautiful store.

Alli Manning, the owner of Nailtini, liked our Facebook page and shared it with all her customers!

Orchid on the boardwalk. It's still summer somewhere.

Key West is known for its free-roaming chickens. Maybe we'll have chickens at Village Hearth.

Eleanor has been posting information about us on local Durham listserves. Last week a reporter for WRAL TV saw a notice about our upcoming Open House. As a result, Pat, Dona, Tony, and Lou were interviewed for a segment we think will air on the news this Friday, the 15th. Unfortunately, the weather was horrible so the interview took place inside the construction trailer instead of touring the site.

Pat gets interviewed.

Linda gets the notification when someone signs up for the newsletter. Recently she was intrigued by what Cheryl wrote on the sign-up form so Linda gave her a call. It turned out Cheryl was writing an article on cohousing for the Senior Living News website, and their conversation led to Village Hearth being featured in a wonderful article (linked in the Facebook section below). You never know what a contact will lead to.

Patricia and Tami attended Burning Man several times (I’m so jealous). Their friend Jack went for the 15th time this year, and he took a stack of brochures with him to hand out to people there.

Tami and Patricia's friend Jack represented Village Hearth at Burning Man.

If you haven't heard of Burning Man, check out these photos. It's amazing.

Village Hearth is turning up everywhere.
Thank you. It truly takes a village to build a village. 
Yeah, kind of a cliche. I couldn't help myself.
Did you know?

Charles Durrett, our architect, and Katie McCamant, our development consultant, imported the concept of cohousing to the United States from Denmark and have helped bring more than 60 cohousing communities to life.

Village Hearth was Born at the Beach

Pat describes the beginning of Village Hearth this way in a Communities magazine article in 2016.

Margaret, Patricia, Dona, Tami, and Lisa enjoy drinks by the water.

Lyn, Lisa, and Tami barefoot on the beach.

Margaret celebrated her 64th birthday.

“Our vision has followed a long path originating almost 15 years ago with long weekends and, eventually, weeks at the beach. We fell in love with the sound of women laughing, the aroma of brewing coffee, the sight of souls braving the ocean currents in November. We thought we wanted to create the ODH (Old Dykes Home): what turned out to be a shared housing concept. When our gang started to retire, we faced the reality of actually living together under one roof permanently, as well as the standard reply, “I’m going to stay in my home until I can’t.” That forced us to seek out other solutions. Having the close-knit community with a balance of privacy in cohousing is where we landed.”

Sunrise over the ocean

Sunny or stormy, the view is gorgeous.

More drinks and merriment with Patricia, Lisa, Dona, Tami, Pat, and Margaret

This year Pat and Margaret organized their yearly beach retreat again, and they were joined by a number of Village Hearth members and Friends of the Hearth. The fun and laughter provided a happy preview of life at Village Hearth. 

What's Blooming in Durham

This is the time of year when bloom colors are starting to mix with leaf colors. Fall-blooming camellias are coming out, such as this bright pink beauty. And I always enjoy my old-fashioned mums.


Old-fashioned Mums

This tiny native ground cover is called Walter’s Violet, but I call it mouse ears because of the leaves. And my native sunflowers seem to be reaching for the sun, don’t they?

Walter's Violet (aka Mouse Ears)

Native Sunflowers

Next year we'll be enjoying the fall colors in Village Hearth!

Intentional Communities Work Together

Cohousers are community-oriented beyond their own communities. As a forming community, Village Hearth has been helped by other communities in our area and beyond. Eno Commons allowed us to use their common house for some of our early workshops. Durham Central Park Cohousing invites us to their house concerts. Communities across the country have been generous with advice. We plan to continue that tradition at Village Hearth.

Allan, Tami, Linda, Eleanor, Cathy, Dona (and friend)  at Hart's Mill.

Last month Hart's Mill Ecovillage in Mebane, N.C. invited us to attend a workshop on transitioning into community and sociocracy. Six of us learned a lot and had a good time.


Meet & Greet with Site Visit 

Saturday, December 14, 2:30 p.m.

Come meet some potential neighbors; after all, cohousing is all about the people! View the floor plans and color renderings of our new homes. Have a beverage or a bite to support this welcoming locally-owned restaurant. Then we’ll head on down the road to tour our land if the construction crews aren't working. Closed shoes and liability waiver are required for a site visit. 
Ricky’s NY Pizza, 5279 N Roxboro Rd, Durham, NC 27712

Other site visit times available by appointment. Email

PS: Ricky's makes good pizza. We should call it Meet & Greet & Eat.

Happy Hour

Beat the Monday Blues

Monday, November 25 & December 30
5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

Sure; you can come out on a school night...Come hang out with the cool kids and find out what we’re all about! Raise a glass or have an early dinner. We want to meet YOU!

Carolina Ale House 
3911 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd 
Durham, NC 27707

Links to Articles Posted to VHC’s Facebook Page

Each month, you’ll find articles of interest posted on our Facebook page. Here are some recent posts. Just click the titles to take you to the articles.
The Introverts Guide to Durham

This time of year is actually perfect for you, right? There are countless opportunities for you to take your own self-guided tour through Durham’s celebrated restaurant, craft brewery, and distillery scene... or bundle up and spend time outdoors exploring beautiful gardens and hiking along the Eno River. Intellectuals will love various lecture series at Duke and North Carolina Central University, while wanderlust artists can explore both public art and museum collections.

LGBT Senior Cohousing Values Diversity
Village Hearth Cohousing is more than a set of structures. It represents community, camaraderie and safety for the residents who will occupy these special homes. It holds at its core the value of creating community for LGBTs, straight friends and allies. This senior cohousing community is the first in the nation dedicated to LGBT issues while maintaining the values that form the basis of many cohousing communities: environmental, social and economic sustainability.
In Denmark, Empathy Is Taught To Students Aged 6 To 16
Cohousing started in Denmark so it should be no surprise it represents the epitome of "hygge."
"They work on hygge, a concept closely tied to the Danish culture. “Intentionally created intimacy” is perhaps the best way to explain “hygge”. Denmark is a country where the sun sets pretty early and the weather is rather gloomy. Hygge signifies for the Danish warmth, friendship, and creation of an intimate atmosphere where everyone is welcomed. Danes insist on hygge for their well-being." 
To learn more about Village Hearth Cohousing, phone Margaret at 561-714-8009 or follow the links below.
Copyright © 2019 Village Hearth Cohousing, All rights reserved.

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