Mara Lora, published March 14, 2022
In 2010, a reclusive man named William E. Brown Jr. died and went undiscovered for about a month at 211 W. Oak Drive.
The property that once held his house and overgrown yard across from the Southgate Shopping Center will soon be home to a community that aims to ensure nobody dies alone again.
Gail Bagley, Susan Harding and David Wood are working together to create Harwood Village, a blended cohousing community for retired seniors and adults with disabilities.
“I won’t say that was a reason for doing this, but it was just kind of interesting that the very piece of property we landed on was a result of somebody who passed away and nobody knew for days,” Harding said. “We don’t want seniors in isolation or individuals with disabilities in isolation, which can happen very easily.”
According to the Cohousing Association of America, the core of cohousing is connection.
“Physical spaces allow neighbors to easily interact with others just outside private homes,” the association’s website reads. “Common areas including kitchen, dining space and gardens bring people together. Collaborative decision-making builds relationships.”