For good reasons, Americans are growing concerned about the cost of health care and housing. There are many reasons why people need care-the addiction of a teenage child or spouse, an elderly relative in need of nursing home care, a psychological disorder, or a chronic medical condition—but even moderately successful institutional solutions for these problems are often too costly to be truly helpful. The cost of healthcare is so high it can result in homelessness. Leonard Jason and Martin Perdoux show us a relatively low-cost and effective solution growing in neighborhoods across the country: true community. People are moving in together to meet each other’s needs and, in the process, create a much higher quality of life than they would find in an institution. People living together in these healing communities include the elderly, recovering alcoholics and drug addicts, and people suffering from mental illness, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, AIDS, or Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. These communities offer them a way to recover the caring, structure, direction, and respect that a strong family can provide. The authors of this work show us how communities created out of necessity by their members constitute a more sustained, natural means to healing.
In his foreword, Thomas Moore points out that the communities described in this book are not only physical homes, but also shelters for the soul, places to find the deepest kind of security. Here you will see concrete ways imaginative leaders help those in trouble find themselves rather than become dependent on institutions. It is a new and promising imagination of how social healing works: not by setting up more programs, but by treating people in trouble as human beings, with certain emotional and social needs. This book teaches how to re-imagine this whole process, and now, in an increasingly technical and lonely world, we need this precious wisdom more than ever.