Columbia Association's website states that its mission is to "(work) everyday in hundreds of ways to make Columbia an even better place to live, work and play." To that end, they created what the website calls "income qualified rates" so that lower income Columbia residents could afford membership. This option is not available at Haven on the Lake: "Senior discounts and Income Qualified discounts are not offered at Haven on the Lake at this time". Are we to assume that they will be included at some future date? Is this not a CA facility — why are the rules different?
In a further spirit of inclusion, CA members are provided with guest passes. These allow the guests of members to participate in CA activities to the degree of membership that the member has purchased. These can be used at all CA facilities except for Haven on the Lake: "CA members who do not join Haven on the Lake will not be able to use their guest passes for admission at the retreat". So we have a facility which is costing CA members and Columbia residents $4 million dollars to build, which excludes Columbia's lower income residents and excludes current CA members and their guests.
A website describing James Rouse states that his mission was "to see that all low-income people in the United States (had) the opportunity for fit and affordable housing, and to move up and out of poverty into the mainstream of American life". An article in last week's Columbia Flier calls Haven on the Lake a "fitness option (that) meshes well with the mission and values of the association". How can it be so exclusionary and "mesh" with CA's previously quoted mission statement?
Is wellness not considered "mainstream" for the low income population? Is it not considered "mainstream" for those current members of CA and their guests?
Haven? My husband and I moved to Columbia 30+ years ago because it was a haven — for those of us with social, economic and cultural differences who believed in James Rouse's vision of community. Redevelop and revitalize downtown Columbia with as many new businesses as can be attracted — free enterprise is essential to "moving up and out" — but don't "shelter" Haven under CA's umbrella and don't insult us with the contention that it exemplifies in any way the spirit of Columbia.
David and Lisa Jaskulsky