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community, home, housing, youth

This just in: A win-win housing solution in the Netherlands

In the Netherlands, students live rent-free with seniors at a retirement home in exchange for visiting with the seniors.

In the Netherlands, students live rent-free with seniors at a retirement home in exchange for visiting with the seniors.

No matter how complicated a problem is, there is always a win-win solution. My favorite recent win-win is a cross-generation community solution that I wish was around when I was in college. I could have used it. Heck, I could use it now.

Imagine if students (or entrepreneurs for that matter) could somehow obtain free housing while they were in school (or started their businesses). Now imagine that people in retirement homes could be surrounded by youthful energy. In the Netherlands they put these two needs together, offering free housing to students in retirement homes. In exchange for free housing, the students spend 30 hours per month being “good neighbors” to the elderly residents. They watch sports games together, celebrate birthdays, and visit them when they don’t feel well.

This story made me smile from ear to ear. I hope it makes you feel the same way. What a beautiful, wonderful gift for all of these people, young and old. We really are all in this together.

About Christa Avampato

I make a living in business and I make a life as a writer, artist, and yogi. I use my business and storytelling skills to build a better world. My first novel, Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters, will be published in the Fall of 2017 by Thumbkin Prints, a children's and YA imprint of Possibilities Publishing Co. My creative career has stretched across Capitol Hill, Broadway theatre, education, nonprofit fundraising, health and wellness, and Fortune 500 companies in retail, media, and financial services. In every experience, I have used my sense of and respect for elegant design to develop meaningful products, services, program, and events to help people live happier, healthier lives. A recovering multi-tasker, I am a proud alum of UPenn (BA) and the Darden School at UVA (MBA). When not in front of my Mac, I’m on my yoga mat, walking my rescue dog, Phineas, traveling with a purpose, or practicing the high-art of people watching. I am proud to New York City my home, and I've been called the happiest New Yorker by friends and strangers alike. They're right. Follow my adventures on Twitter at and Instagram at


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I'd love to know what you think of this post! Please leave a reply and I'll get back to you in a jiffy! ~ CRA

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