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Helping Boomers Find Millennial Roommates

In a college town, students and older homeowners have a lot to offer each other. That’s why two urban planners built an app to bring them together.
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Madison McVeigh/CityLab

When Jane Kamine and her husband settled in Stanford, California, with their toddler in the 1970s, they decided to open up their spare room to renters. It wasn’t that they needed the money; what they really wanted was to meet their community. “We were in a new place, and we knew no one there,” she says. “We were questioning how we were going to be in this new world.”

So they set their eyes on folks from the nearby Stanford University, renting out the extra room for months at a time. Kamine says some of her most precious lifelong friendships were formed right at her kitchen table. They include people in their 20s and 30s. They were students and visiting professors, doctors and international scholars. And they all started out as strangers in her home.