A time of transition, and new beginnings

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It’s a Friday morning in June, and the ROC-NH team has worked from home for three months now. I miss my ROC teammates, and the way we organically problem-solve in the hallway, discussing the latest question posed by a board member or resident of the 132 resident-owned communities in New Hampshire. I’m grateful that we already knew how to video conference before we had to work remotely; we seamlessly moved into that form of communication to keep the day-to-day business of ROCS on track.

I also miss seeing and meeting with residents. That Brady-bunch screen on video conference gets the work done, but it just isn’t the same as in-person conversation. I look forward to again driving N.H.’s back roads to visit communities. Fox Hill in Franconia was the latest co-op to buy its neighborhood, back in January. I will remember them always, for the great folks who made it happen—Vicky, Judy, Jean, Tom, Mike and Mary—and for the scenic drive through Franconia Notch to meet with them

At home, with the workday meshing with the routine of home life, and weekdays and weekends blending in a way they never have before, I’m spending more time thinking about the remarkable movement that we call ROC—the stories of generosity, resiliency, and determination of the residents who carry on no matter what life brings them.

More recently my thinking has been influenced by the retirement of Juliana Eades, the visionary and foot soldier who started the ROC movement 36 years ago, as President of the N.H. Community Loan Fund at the end of June.

Julie leaves the legacy of 132 communities and 8,200 households, all those folks never again having to worry about losing their investment in their home because they got a notice of park sale or closure. Those communities are preserved forever, thanks to the hard work of Julie and her teams over the years.

So it’s a time of transition and new beginnings. New communities in Derry and Merrimack will sign purchase and sale agreements this week, and hopefully become ROCs #133 and #134 this fall. We’ve met those resident groups in person just once, at a socially distanced gathering with facemasks and ROC yardsticks to ensure that we were safely apart.

Ironically, safely apart so they can join the ranks of the 132 current ROCs whose members know we are Better Together.

Tara Reardon is the Director of ROC-NH. This blog post was originally posted on the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund website