Intergenerational Housing: Novel Definitions of Home and Family
From Laura Peck
An emerging model of new housing developments is experimenting with mixing older and younger people in one place. Although the two ends of the population spectrum are frequently portrayed as competing for limited welfare resources, pioneers see intergenerational housing as a solution to today’s most prevalent and persisting American social issues: declining social safety net, loneliness, and poverty. After all, who wants to be surrounded by only older people when they grow old? Please join us for a panel discussion with pioneers of intergenerational housing as they share experiences of addressing such issues through advocacy, social action, and, most of all, design. The panelists will discuss the role of design in creating environments that foster intergenerational interaction and meaningful relationships, and describe a place-making endeavor where young and old can help fulfill each other’s needs.
This panel is organized as part of an interior design studio where School of Human Ecology Interior Architecture students are designing an intergenerational community led by Prof. Jung-hye Shin and Prof. Uchita Vaid.
** This event is planned to be virtual and in-person. The UW Madison campus requires face coverings to be worn in all campus buildings. We are monitoring the current COVID-19 pandemic and if it becomes unsafe to hold this in-person, it will be moved to completely virtual and an update will be added to this page.
Karin S. Krause RN, BSN – Executive Director
Karin is the Executive Director and Founder of the Hope & A Future neighborhood vision. Karin graduated from UW School of Nursing in 1979. She has worked as a staff nurse and supervisor in a broad range of settings, as a utilization review and independent consultant, continuing education provider for nurses and nursing home administrators in Minnesota, self-employed private duty nurse, small business owner of Intergenerational House LLC, an Adult Family Home. She currently works as the Executive Director of Hope & A Future Inc. in Madison, Wisconsin. While developing the business plan and support for Hope & A Future, Karin ran Intergenerational House out of her private residence for 12 years. Her AFH was the pilot for long term support for frail older adults in need of fiscal assistance in the state of Wisconsin. Karin is also a CNA instructor. She has been pursuing her vision of a Therapeutic Interactive Intergenerational Neighborhood (TIIN) since 2003. Her interest in geriatrics and experience supervising single parents trying to stay in the workforce led her to the idea of an intergenerational community. She is dedicated to the idea that interactive support for struggling young families and older adults can be of mutual benefit. Karin has considerable background in program development in a variety of educational and health care settings as well as multigenerational programs she has run — using music, arts and crafts, photography, cooking, baking, and gardening. The first phase of the TIIN received a Best Of Madison award in 2018 and in 2021 Karin was featured as a Top 10 Nurse in Capital Newspapers for her intergenerational work. She was also featured in Brenda Eheart’s book on intergenerational work titled,; Neighbors, the power of the people next door. Karin believes that, “If we continue to see our population of older adults as a burden, we will miss the resource that they are”.
Rob Pfauth – retired architect
Rob Pfauth is a retired architect with over forty years’ experience in diverse practice settings and project types. He served most recently as Director of Senior Living Planning for Madison-based ERDMAN Architects. Previously, he held leadership and project management positions with prominent national design firms including Eppstein Uhen Architects, Rice Fergus Miller, JSA Design, and Harley Ellis Devereaux. His concentration has been in the creation of living and care environments for older adults for most of his career. During this time, he was intimately involved in all aspects of the planning and design of projects across every facet of the continuum of care.
Born in the Netherlands, Rob obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree from Rutgers University, majoring in Art and Education, followed by a Master of Architecture degree from UCLA’s School of Architecture & Urban Planning. States in which he has been registered as an architect include California, Ohio, Maryland, Illinois, Florida, and Wisconsin, in addition to being certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB).
Under the influence of teachers and mentors including such luminaries as Charles Moore, Joseph Esherick, and William Turnbull, Jr., Rob learned early on that the key to achieving excellence lies in the disciplined application of timeless principles balanced by a healthy skepticism regarding socalled conventional wisdom. Among Rob’s core professional values are customer service, product excellence, innovative yet responsible design, consistent communications, and rigorous attention to detail. His demonstrated proficiencies include programming, master planning, regulatory compliance, contract documentation, expository writing, and informative presentation. His articles have been published online and in national trade journals, and he has presented numerous educational seminars at a variety of national industry conferences and events. Rob currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Society for the Advancement of Gerontological Environments (SAGE).
Gail Schechter – Executive Director of Housing Opportunities and Maintenance for the elderly (H.O.M.E.)
Gail Schechter has been a local and national leader in fair, affordable, and intergenerational housing; enforcement and investigation of housing discrimination; housing development; and community organizing for decades. Gail serves as the Executive Director of the Chicago-based nonprofit, Housing Opportunities and Maintenance for the Elderly (H.O.M.E.). She is also a widely recognized thought leader in conceiving of and implementing creative grassroots strategies for just, beloved communities, most recently as the co-founder of the Evanston-based Community Alliance for Better Government and The Justice Project: The March Continues in Chicago’s northern suburbs. In 2012, the Governor appointed her to fill the “affordable housing advocate” seat of the State Housing Appeals Board, the enforcement body of the Affordable Housing Planning and Appeal Act which she helped to pass. Gail is also a co-founder of the Chicago-based Addie Wyatt Center for Nonviolence Training and the author of “We’re Gonna Open Up the Whole North Shore” in the anthology The Chicago Freedom Movement: Martin Luther King Jr. and Civil Rights Activism in the North (2016).