Alberta, Canada
Abundant Life Autism

A Christian Cohousing Initiative in Alberta for Families by Families

Meet your new neighbours! Come grow with us!

John, Karyn, Nekoda, Aidan, Julia

Family Picture plus dog outdoors

We are John, Karyn, Nekoda, Aidan, and Julia, seen here with our now-retired autism guide dog, Dozer. We love nature, family movie nights, and traveling to see our extended family (and the many swimmable lakes!) in Ontario. We are used to going against the status quo, from midwifery (having drug free births at home) to adoption, Christianity, homeschooling, and now cohousing. We believe we must pursue our dreams and boldly step out in faith if we are to life an honest life with no regrets. 


We are excited to be a part of this amazing group of people, creating a cohousing neighbourhood designed to increase natural supports, create meaningful days, and reduce isolation. We are the Village, and we trust that the remaining families will come on board at just the right time. Peace!

Kevin, Beena, Christy, Brent

Family picture outdoors, it's a windy day!

We are Kevin & Beena. We met, married, and had our two children in Kuala Lumpur.  We've been teaching in Calgary since 2001.  Our daughter Christy is a nursing student in Lethbridge.  Our son Brent is a 20-year-old autistic man navigating life after high school.  

We are interested in a community that will accept our son as he is, and that will be a place he can call his own even after we can no longer care for him.

Kirby, Trish, Benjamin

Family picture taken on a sunny patio.

We are Kirby, Trish and Benjamin. Benjamin is our son and he recently turned 19 years old. He has a moderate developmental delay that requires a supportive environment. Benjamin is friendly, affable and good natured. 


Benjamin is our only son and he does not have any other siblings or close relatives so we find the  prospect of living in a community like the one offered by Abundant Life to be very comforting with regards to Benjamin’s long term needs, safety and quality of life.

Julie, Brandon, Dylan, Kendra

Family picture with mom looking like a mermaid on a rock, kids standing around her.

Hello! I'm a single mother with three teenagers - a son and two daughters - and I'm a Christian. Brandon is 18 and was diagnosed with ASD shortly after turning 17. He loves video games and anime, and he likes to draw his own characters. Dylan is 15 and in grade 10. She is neurotypical, loves sports, drama, and doing special effects makeup. Kendra is 13, she does junior high school online, loves anime and video games and we believe she's also on the spectrum; however, she has not been diagnosed. We also have two awesome cats named Neo and Klutzy. We like to watch Marvel movies and go swimming.


I feel Abundant Life Autism is an answer to prayer. As a single, Christian mother of special needs children, my two biggest concerns were lack of community (for me, because it's hard to find people who share my values as well as understand my experience; and for them, because they have difficulty socializing) and wondering what would happen to them if something happened to me (I'm all they have). At ALA, I hope that my kids will feel comfortable enough to engage with others, learn life skills, and grow to a level of functioning where I won't be worried for them anymore. I'm looking forward to having friends who share my values and who "get it."

*Mama Bear, Pappa Bear, Sister Bear 1, Sister Bear 2, and Brother Bear...

Mama Bear plus 3 cubs.

...and one small Fur-child. (Pappa was taking the photo, so he is not in it.)

We’re a fairly run-of-the-mill family of five, four of which might live at Abundant Life. Mamma and Pappa are rapidly approaching the end of their employed working years (fingers crossed) and their 25th wedding anniversary. Mamma speaks Italian and loves to cook and eat. Pappa enjoys riding his motorcycle, cooking and watching youtube videos which has now become a favourite pastime of his. Fledgling daughter 1  is an electrician … at present she’s the real breadwinner of the family and is saving up so as to stop making her landlord rich.  Daughter number 2 has just begun studying at U of A to become a teacher with a special focus on marginalized students. At the age of about 15 our young man dethroned Pappa  as the tallest in the family. He’s presently finishing up his last year of high school and is looking forward to starting his new program. He enjoys playing piano, riding his bike and being with others.  Our small Fur-child is presently 84 years old in dog years but is surprisingly spry! As a family, we enjoy being around nature and often take fairly long family walks, borderline hikes really … parkland and opportunities for active living are important to us. We have accumulated great memories  travelling together and the plan is to do more of the same. 


We’re hoping for some good laughs, for receiving and contributing to the security, support and peace of mind that we expect will grow organically (and with effort) in the A.L. community. We see it as a great opportunity to be a part of something uniquely functional, for our kids but also for humanity in general. We’re anxious to play a role in making it happen. We’d be especially excited if one amongst our cohousing  community is a yogi!

*not real names

Kat, Tyler

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Coming soon...we assure you Kat and Tyler are much more interesting than pancakes!

Thomas, Carole-Anne, Stephanie, Danielle, Benjamin, Timothy

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We are the adventurers! In our family there is Thomas (father), Carole-Anne (mother), Stephanie (first born daughter/ 20 years old), Danielle (second born daughter/ 18 years old), Benjamin (eldest son/15 years old) and Timothy (youngest/12 years old). Timothy is the one diagnosed with ASD. We are Christians! What is most important to us is our walk with God. We want to follow the exciting and adventurous path He has for us. At the end of the race of life, we want to hear Him say “Well done!” Love and community are the main purposes for which we are all created. Jesus gave two commandments that sum all the other ones, and one commission (love God, love others and make disciples.) 


We seek community and the opportunity to live life abundantly with whatever God has for us. Co-housing seems to be the answer! As our children reach the age to be launched into adulthood, we see the importance in making sure that Timothy also gets the opportunity to have an abundant life full of purpose. We also see this as an opportunity for us to all participate and share with others as we build friendships. We are not made to navigate this world alone as Lone Rangers. Co-housing will give us community, purpose, relationship and a place where people with ASD can find the support and understanding they need. We are believing Timothy will find a place where he is loved, where he can be himself and where he feels he belongs. In co-housing he will be in a place where he can make a difference and set his own imprint on life. Let’s all make a difference!

Who will be our next family?

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Fill out our Membership Questionnaire below and it could be you!

Diagram of Membership Process 1) Guest 2) Interested Guest 3) Associate Member 4) Equity Member

Interested?

Membership into cohousing is largely self-selecting. Through a gradual process of learning more about the initiative, what is involved, and getting to know your potential neighbours, you will begin to have an idea if this is a suitable housing solution (and lifestyle!) for you and your family.  If you are interested in learning more, we invite you to complete the Membership Questionnaire and begin to discover what the future may hold! We look forward to hearing from you!

Membership Questionnaire

Lot selection is determined by the date this questionnaire is completed. 

Membership Questionnaire HERE

Membership Process Explained

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Guest

Anyone can be a guest! Simply attend an Info Session, social, or one-to-one coffee meetup to learn a bit about what we are doing. Have some questions answered and explore the concept. Can't attend an event? Give us a call and let's chat! You should also sign up for our Newsletter and begin to research cohousing. We recommend the book Creating Cohousing, by Kathryn McCamant and Charles Durrett.

Interested Guest

If you like what you hear so far and are interested in learning more, then consider taking the next step in membership. First, fill out the online Membership Questionnaire (above) which reserves your seniority spot for lot selection/s should you decide to become an Equity Member. Then, pay the $100 non-refundable Associate Membership fee. 

Associate Member

Help shape the community by participating in meetings, being a part of the design process, and voting on site selection. Use your skills in a meaningful way to help this project move forward. Access our paperwork and decision log thus far. Get to know your future neighbours and have a clearer idea about what life will look like at Abundant Life Autism! Associate Membership is a temporary six month membership, at which time you could choose to re-apply as an Associate Member or move into Equity Membership. Seniority spots for lot selection are reserved as long as fees are paid. One membership per family. 

Equity Member

Equity Membership is projected to open in September of 2019.

Equity Members are fully participating members and have decided to purchase at least one unit at Abundant Life Autism. To qualify as an Equity Member, the following must occur: 

  • financial pre-qualification (tell your bank or mortgage broker you are looking at buying a condo, mentioning cohousing will only confuse them) 
  • an initial $500 deposit that goes toward the cost of your unit

Equity Members are company shareholders. Incentives for early investment; ask about our discount schedule.

A Note on Fees

All fees, workshop costs, and equity contributions count toward the cost of your home. When units are ready, your investment can convert to become your mortgage downpayment. Fees will increase over time, with roughly 20% of your purchase price due prior to construction.