Who we are

Doug & Karen Jacobsen, Zander and Cedric

Karen and Doug recall attending an early informational meeting for the community in which they looked around the roomful of interested people and thought "we're never going to get a house." Ultimately, they became senior members of the community! Their two sons are Zander (15) and Cedric (13). Zander and Cedric both attended the award-winning John Muir School - an outdoor-based K-8 magnet school, and are now at Ashland Middle and High Schools, respectively. Zander enjoys playing music (piano and bass), speech and debate, and is goalkeeper for the soccer team. He is good about pitching in to help in the community. Cedric enjoys soccer and track. He enjoys his many friends in and outside of cohousing.

Karen is 52 years old and has been a labor and delivery nurse for the past 18 years. Karen enjoys working with women at a powerful and important time in their lives. She is interested in conscious parenting, small trips with family and friends, speaking Spanish, riding bikes, creating art and gardening.

Doug is 59 years old and is a licensed clinical social worker and now manages a forensic mental health program. Before all that he spent a dozen years in the construction trades and attended college late in life. He had the good fortune to live in the S.F. Bay area, Seattle, and the U.S. Virgin Islands after leaving his hometown in the Cleveland area. His non-work interests include reading, music, parenting, eating/cooking, and basketball (sadly no longer able to play). Doug actually enjoys the consensus decision-making process and has particpated in collectives in the past.

They shared an interest in cohousing for some years before the opportunity presented itself locally. We moved to the valley from the Bay Area in 2000, living in Medford for seven years before moving into cohousing here. They are privileged to have the benefit of living near Karen's mother Teddi here in Ashland.

Sarah Breckenridge

I got involved in cohousing because I want to be part of a close-knit community whose members can find the time to talk, work and play together. For me, growth usually occurs as a result of interpersonal connections, either through learning from the example of a valued friend or taking on the challenge of facing and working through differences and conflicts within relationships. FSCC has delivered on all of these counts! I currently am on the commons and landscape committee. I'm the "senior" member of our community (age: tell you later!) and my 23 year old son is living in Montana. I'm a clinical social worker at the Children's Advocacy Center, and am grateful for having work that I love..


I grew up in Evanston, IL, went to school in Boston and stayed for 26 years until moving to Ashland in November 2003. I was drawn to Ashland in large part because of the opportunities I saw to create and be part of community. I see co-housing as a tremendous way of creating connection, while diminishing my use of the earth’s resources. I feel blessed to have found such an amazing group of people. I’m a clinical psychologist and after many years doing psychotherapy, I now provide professional development and executive coaching and training. A particular area of interest is the development of Emotional Intelligence in the workplace. I sing with the Rogue Valley Chorale. I’m thrilled with the accessibility of great theatre here. I love to travel, read, and when my back cooperates, bike, hike and ski. I’m 49.

Melanie Mindlin

I am very happy to be living at Ashland Cohousing where I am convenor of the community garden team and care for much of our edible landscaping.  I am the originator of this cohousing project and served as investor, designer, promoter and project manager during the 5 years of its creation. I was honored that they agreed to have me live in the community with them after all that and am ever grateful for these loving, trusted friends.  I am a permaculture teacher and designer and work on planning for alternative sustainable land use and forming communities.  I have lived in Ashland since 1992, raised my son Julien here, have been on the Ashland Planning Commission for 10 years and am involved in many groups and volunteer activities.  Before that I lived in Santa Cruz, CA for 17 years where I was a student, small business consultant and community organizer.  My interests include camping, dancing, discussing ideas and good food.  I am particularly interested in ecovillages on the west coast and would like very much to be involved in creating the one of my dreams.

Claire Bloom and Matt Hunter

Claire, 31, was born in Washington, D.C., but was whisked away 3 months later by her foreign-service family. She grew up in India, Kenya, Sri Lanka, and the U.S. Her first foods were rice and dahl; bedtime stories came from the Ramayana; friends were of all colors and creeds. Though a tropical girl at heart, she has learned to love the mountains. She is a liberal arts poster child with a degree in Letters (history, literature, philosophy) from Wesleyan University. Luckily she also had a strong theatre background (mostly tech, no acting since high school) and was therefore able to actually get a job. After living in Denver, Boston, and Rome, she ended up with Matt in Santa Fe, NM, and went back to school to become a teacher. Now she teaches history, literature, and philosophy (see, that degree was useful!) to 11-15 year-olds at Willow Wind Community Learning Center. She is still growing up, and still learning how to best save the world and have a fabulous time in the process. Dancing always helps.

Matt, 33, was born in Hershey, PA, but was whisked away 2 months later by his foreign-service family. He grew up in Germany, Switzerland, and the U.S. Though a mountain man at heart, he has learned to love the tropics. He, too, is a liberal arts poster child with a degree in French fromWesleyan University (it has not proved to be very useful, but that was never the intention!). He spent several years following an outdoor education and recreation path. While living in Santa Fe, NM, he went back to school to learn about eco-groovy things and has since participated in several natural building workshops and events. Now he works as a timberframer and hopes to someday combine his love for handcrafted wood with other natural building materials. He is unlikely to ever grow up, after all he moved to Oregon for the beer!

We met in college and have been sharing this grand adventure of life for 13 years, joined by our dog Zola in 2003. We found our way to Ashland in 2006, after 7 months in a campervan in New Zealand. We look forward to sharing this newest adventure with many others.

Michael and Nancy

We moved to Ashland from New York City. After a while here, we began to miss the neighborhood feel of our apartment in Queens. We wanted to find a place where our two small children could knock on a neighbor's door to play with other kids. We found that, and much more, in the Ashland co-housing community. It seems like a simple idea, to know and trust your neighbors and to allow your children to go out and play. But in our day and age, it's hard to find the kind of trust and support we've discovered here. Michael grew up in rural Wisconsin and Nancy grew up in Brooklyn, New York. Much to our surprise, we found the perfect balance of small town life and big city neighborhood in Ashland's co-housing community.

Juna Berry Madrone

Long long ago, I was a little girl who grew up on an organic homestead on 400 acres of farmland and forest with parents who were into self-sufficiency and hunting/gathering.  My parents were recluses.  I began reading at age 3 and never went to kindergarten.  From an early age, I was fascinated with communal living and social experimentation.  I have lived as an amateur social anthropologist through full immersion into some unique cultures such as living communally with a cult for ten years; joining the Black Muslims in Chicago/Milwaukee; and spending twenty years as a subsistence level homesteader/marijuana grower behind the Redwood Curtain in the Mateel of Humboldt County, CA.  The world of spirit has always been more accessible to me than the material plane. I serve as a mystical guide to help others find life solutions through Goddess spirituality, playing with Tarot imagery, spiritual psychotherapy and ritual.  I am an ordained Hebrew Priestess.  I love the special bubble that is Ashlandia.  Co-Housing is a no brainer and an elegant solution to many societal woes.