The Goodenough Community
The Goodenough Community is a long-term experiment in community formation and
development sponsored by the American Association for the Furtherance of Community.

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The Goodenough Community
Initiative 1 of The American Association for the Furtherance of Community

The first initiative of the American Association for the Furtherance of Community was to create a demonstration of its ideals--The Goodenough Community.

This would-be community established a council and selected leadership. Their name came to them from studying literature on mental health, there finding the importance of each person choosing to learn and to heal—to be helped. The community they desired would be created by a kindly and generous response to the needs of their own lives. In a first step they ran across the statement by D.W. Winnicott, a pediatrician and a military psychiatrist during World War II, who observed that some orphaned children pined away and died unreached by anyone’s efforts while other orphans allowed some nurse or physician to comfort and assist them.

Dr. Winnicott stated that it was clear that for a child to survive that child must allow someone to be a good enough mother, father, caretaker. The declaration of  themselves a Goodenough Community came partly as a pledge to allow themselves to receive individually what they—together as community—offered as service. Another nuance of the name Goodenough is that these founding members wanted to research and experiment with models for organizing themselves and in so doing they were not aiming for perfection as much as exploring without judgment processes that worked “good enough”.

The Goodenough Community was the first project developed by the American Association for the Furtherance of Community and it continues because developing human potential is central to their mission. This community remains an educational organization that has researched, experimented, and documented its life for 27 years.

If you find your self interested in any aspect of our work, and want to become more involved, please email  to continue a dialogue with us. If the telephone is more to your liking, call (206) 323-4653.

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The Goodenough Community

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Copyright © 1998 The Goodenough Community
Last modified: December 25, 2010