We Come Bearing Gifts

We Come Bearing Gifts - Paperback

Janet Klees, Deohaeko Support Network

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We Come Bearing Gifts

The Story of Deohaeko Support Network

Janet Klees

     For the sequel to this book, check out Our Presence Has Roots


Presence, Peace, Welcome, Courage, Challenge, Honesty, Enthusiasm, Ever hoping, Discovery ... and I ask you, are these not gifts needing, required, welcomed by any thoughtful, growing community?

This book is a story. It is a story of the achievements, struggles, and successes of a group of twelve families who joined together in a common mission in the fall of 1989. In order to achieve their vision of a positive future for their sons and daughters who have a disability, these families designed and built a 105-unit co-operative housing apartment building where ten of the daughters and sons could live.

It is the intention of the founding families and members of the co-operative that the community strive to be one which welcomes and includes all of its members in the life of the co-operative and where neighbours come to know and support one another.

In writing this book, Janet Klees has laid out patterns and order that the families discovered in the midst of seeming chaos. It would be a mistake to believe that they planned out the patterns and organized their ideas and beliefs before embarking on the various parts of this venture. In fact, this is an account in progress of a living and breathing community. Many of the patterns that Klees describes, or the order that the families discerned them, could only be identified in retrospect. The day-to-day work of this group and of this burgeoning community involves much imperfection, stress, and "muddiness". It is, after all a very human endeavour. As John McKnight, well known community builder and professor at Chicago's Northwestern University, has noted, building community is different from professional-client relationships, and in the "community mold [things are] messy, creative, but with a capacity to both offer and receive the gift of hospitality."

228 pages, 5-1/2 x 8-1/2 inches, ISBN 1-895178-33-X, $25 paperback

Table of Contents


Chapter 1 In the Beginning ...

Chapter 2 Thoughtful Living

Chapter 3 History - Where We've Come From and Who We Are

Chapter 4 Relationships and Natural Support

Chapter 5 Paid Support

Chapter 6 Helping Others Apply Our Beliefs

Chapter 7 Support Circles

Chapter 8 Funding and Money Matters

Chapter 9 Sharing Our Story

Chapter 10 Planning for the Future: Families Think Ahead



A Summary of Important Concepts

Intentional Community

A community which strives to be thoughtful about welcoming and including all of its members,

Which allows for the contribution and recognition of the gifts and talents of all of its members; 

And a way of life that involves relationship and commitment to others based on valuing gifts and similarities over deficits and differences.

Paid Support

People who are paid to offer assistance or support of some kind to an individual.

Natural Support

People who provide assistance or support to an individual on an informal, unpaid basis. 

Natural support may be arranged by asking but is freely and willingly given.


When people find the wonder and beauty in one another; 

May develop in a paid support arrangement but more likely to blossom outside of that arrangement and with others in mutual and equal circumstances;

May grow to include providing significant level of support to the individual;

The opportunity for relationship-building may be offered, but the growth of relationship between two people is spontaneous and personal.