Letter to the Fewers
Dear Sandra and John,
I hope this letter finds you well. My name is Kanjun Qiu, and I’m writing on behalf of our group — myself and my 4 closest friends. For the past three years, we’ve been your next-door neighbors, and our dream has been to create a legacy for your home and build a lasting, multi-generational community in San Francisco. In this letter, I’d love to share our story and our hopes for your home.
I’m a first generation Chinese American. As you must know, growing up in China we had all the generations in each family under one roof. When I was young, having my cousins, uncles and aunts, grandparents, granduncles and grandaunts all in the same home created an incredible sense of community — I never felt lonely. The children learned from the patience and wisdom of the elders, and the elders stayed young through the vivaciousness of their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
Fast forward to our generation in America, and especially for our young generation, we’re more isolated than ever. We live in single family homes, far away from our parents and children, and we’re left by ourselves or with our partners. This creates a transient culture in San Francisco — people move to San Francisco but often move away as they move through their lives, because nothing holds them here. As residents who want to live in San Francisco for the rest of our lives, we feel sad about this and believe it’s damaging to our city’s culture.
In order to combat this sense of loneliness and recreate a sense of community and multi-generational permanence here, we started the Archive (https://archive.house) at 279-283 Dolores St, the home next door. We’re a group of close friends living together, and our mission is to create a long-term community that can support each person through all stages of our lives — from young professionalism, to parenthood, through retirement.
We are both successful and aspiring entrepreneurs, scientists, artists, and engineers — each of us with a different mission to make the world better. Between us, we’re taking on everything from making childcare affordable to parents in dense cities, to building a more sustainable world by creating cricket-based protein, to increasing fairness and transparency in the hiring and job search process, and more. We support each other emotionally, professionally, and financially. We are more than friends: we are family.
We also give back to the broader San Franciscan community by hosting potluck dinners, talks, and small group events. Our hope is to show people of all generations that it’s possible to live together, to live multi-generationally, to come out of their transient silos and create a permanent family in San Francisco. We’ve put a lot of thought into developing ways to live harmoniously and govern amongst a large group — and our goal is to share these best practices with the world so that others can create their own local communities. We’ve started by sharing our story on national television on the TODAY show, and teaming up with Vivek Murthy (former Surgeon General under Obama) on a book about the loneliness epidemic.
To truly have many generations under one roof, we need to be able to support parents with children — but our current home is limited, as the units are too dense. By buying your beautiful home with the lovely backyard garden, we’ll be able to grow the community to support older generations — members of the community who have children, or who have parents moving in with them. We hope to open up the backyard between our homes to create a communal space, and be able to support a true multi-generational group.
This is our dream. It’s such a rare opportunity for us to have the house next door be available; your home is our only adjacent opportunity to grow our community — to be able to support mothers and fathers and older generations, while keeping us all in close proximity. Because this is so important to us, we’re happy to discuss the offer we’ve made to ensure that it’s compelling.
We hope you’ll offer us the opportunity to be the next owners of your lovely home. And then, we’d love to have you by for a potluck dinner, and welcome you into the community. :)
Kanjun, Jason, Arram, Christina, and Ben