The deepest crises experienced by any society are those moments of change when the story becomes inadequate for meeting the survival demands of a present situation. ~ Thomas BerryRead more
What are the Top Reasons Someone Would Want to Live in a Shared Housing Arrangement?
Many people have a hard time thinking about sharing housing. The idea of making a change in the way they live is difficult and easily rejected. When a person considers sharing housing, a whole range of objections quickly surface.
"I can't imagine living with a stranger(s)."
" I don't want to lose my privacy."
"I'm too sloppy."
""I'm too neat."
"I don't like loud music."
"I'm too set in my ways."
"What if it doesn't work out?"
"No one could live with me."
If you are considering sharing housing and are hesitant, the best thing to do is to go through the Shared Housing portion of the site. Once you understand the process of finding and keeping good Home-Mates, you will see that you can manage most of the particular concerns about sharing housing that you have.
The top reasons to share housing are:
For a person who is limited in what they can do by virtue of age or infirmity, a Home-Mate can mean the difference between being able to stay at home or having to move to a facility with paid assistants. There are programs around the world that work specifically to match seniors and others with Home-Mates for reduced or even free rent in exchange for regular help around the house.
This help can include:
- Companionship at meals
Program staff often screen candidates, makes matches and helps the Home-Mates to ensure that the match is satisfactory for both parties.
Other people turn to sharing housing when looking for help with child care. Single parents might be interested in having a live-in person who would occasionally be able to baby-sit their children. Often this individual will get reduced rent for their service and possibly a stipend.
Whatever arrangement you have, it is essential to be clear about your expectations when advertising and interviewing for potential Home-Mates.
Sources: Sharing Housing: A Guidebook for Finding and Keeping Good Housemates
Contributors: Annamarie Pluhar
Recommended Books: Sharing Housing: A Guidebook for Finding and Keeping Good Housemates
Who is Maikwe Ludwig?
Maikwe Ludwig is the Executive Director of the Center for Sustainable and Cooperative Culture at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage. She has lived in sustainability-oriented intentional communities for almost 2 decades, and serves of the Board of Directors of the Fellowship
for Intentional Community. She spent much of 2015 on a national speaking tour, talking about Dancing Rabbit, cooperative culture and climate change. She is also a consensus and facilitation trainer, and works with groups to improve their group dynamics and understanding of the cooperative culture transition. Her latest project is a progressive policy development initiative focused on economic and ecological justice, called Materialized Empathy. Ma'ikwe is the author of Passion as Big as a Planet: Evolving Eco-activism in America and is a regular contributor to Communities magazine.
Visit her website:
Read Her Book:
Read Her Articles:
- Throwing in the Founder's Towel, #144
- Growing Family in Community, #146
- More Perspectives on Leadership and Followship, #148
- Busting the Myth, #155
- Making Lymeade, #158
Contributor: Maikwe Ludwig
Recommended Reading: Communities Magazine #144– Community in Hard Times, Communities Magazine #146– Family, Communities Magazine #148– Power and Empowerment, Communities Magazine #155– Diversity, Communities Magazine #158– Affordability and Self-Reliance, Passion as Big as a Planet: Evolving Eco-Activism in America
What is Acorn Community Farm?
Acorn is an intentional community in Mineral, Virginia of around 30 folks which was founded in 1993. They are an egalitarian, income-sharing, secular, anarchist, feminist, consensus-based commune. The members that live there are committed to non-coercive, voluntary associations within their community and the larger community in which they find themselves as well as living sustainably, supporting queer & alternative lifestyles, and creating a vibrant, eclectic culture.
Their community lives on a working farm which means there is always plenty to do. Everyone is expected to contribute 42 hours of labor a week. There are many types of work available, mostly for their farm and business. They grow herbs and food for their kitchen & seeds for their business, care for lots of livestock (chickens, cows, goats, & pigs!), cook two community meals daily, educate their children, maintain their land & buildings, and do office jobs like accounting, seed packing and order picking/shipping. Their community also does outreach work in their local community and in the communities movement, like growing food for the local food bank, and helping other communities and organizations like the FIC, the Federation of Egalitarian Communities, Organic Seed Alliance, & the Grassroots Seed Network. Members may also work outside jobs to fulfill their labor quota. All of this work is valued equally.
Because creditable labor is so diverse, they have more free time than the average working person. The community supports the education, personal growth, & personal projects of our members. They have no:
They set their own schedules and trust members to work quota. Communally they get things done by having a culture which stresses personal responsibility and good communication. They care about Acorn so they work hard to ensure it stays around.
Their community's thriving seed business, Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, is part of a growing network of farmers, gardeners and seed savers dedicated to organic and heritage agriculture. They sell heirloom, open-pollinated, non-GMO and organic seeds and do seed saving education and outreach. They earn their income by providing a means of production to gardeners and farmers.
They have 2 group meetings per week. One is a consensus-based decision making meeting while the other is a general discussion forum where they explore ideas & work through issues. Their community intentionally keep policies to a minimum. They strongly encourage personal responsibility rather than supervision, as well as taking issues on a case-by-case basis, keeping in mind that needs of individuals vary. Any decision they make can be brought back to a meeting at any point – their lifestyle thrives on open communication & respect for fellow communards.
Once every 2 years, members are required to take part in an interpersonal communication process called a “clearness”, where a single member talks individually to every other member about how they have been feeling, their relationship with the community, and what they envision their future to be. Membership visitors & long-term interns/guests are also required to have a clearness.
Remember, this stuff is hard! They share the daily challenges of living and working together, remembering to have fun while running a growing business, making decisions together, and sharing income. They are interested in meeting people experienced in community-building, communication and facilitation, who are interested in building a healthy, dynamic, supportive social culture.
If you are interested in visiting them, interning in their seed business and garden, or considering applying for membership, please visit their website, and click on “How to Visit Acorn Community Farm.”
Commune (organized around sharing almost everything)
Up to 25%
Consensus (everyone agrees)
Renewable Energy Produced:
0%, or close to 0%
All or close to all
Omnivorous (plants and animals), Paleo (no grains, dairy, processed foods, or legumes), Local (food sourced within 150 miles), Organic (no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers), Mostly Vegetarian, Mostly Vegan, Opportunivore (dumpster diving, nature harvesting, etc.)
Visit their Website:
Visit their Business Website:
Posted by The Transition Team ·
Helps You "Get Out of Yourself"
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Have Someone with Whom to Have a Meal
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What is "Revaluation Counseling"?
Revaluation Counseling is a form of peer counseling where people, usually in pairs, take turns being client and counselor. The purpose of the counseling is to feel and "discharge," through laughter, tears, anger,shivering, etc., painful feelings from the past that keep us from being completely alive and functioning in the present.
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