We anticipate openings this summer. We encourage those who might be interested in joining our community now or in the future to start getting to know us sooner rather than later. Two or more people, including partners and family units, would be welcome to share 1 or more rooms, and the rooms are also available for individual, unrelated new members. See below for details.
If you’re interested in exploring joining this community:
First, please understand that getting to know us and us getting to know you takes time. In our experience, the process to be accepted as a community member can take a month or longer, and if that doesn’t work with your timeframe you probably want to prioritize other housing options.
Please read this whole page and our values statement. Then email ryan [the at symbol] notjustskin.org with a few sentences about yourself and why you’re interested in living with us. Also let us know when you’re looking to join and how long you’re interested in. Feel free to ask any questions. We’ll share our document of intention, which lays out many of our shared agreements and practices around living out our core values under the same roof. We’ll also share a questionnaire to learn more about you. If everyone’s still interested, we’ll try to set up in-person visits, or Skype meetings if that’s not possible.
If you’d like to explore joining our community in the future, we encourage you to start getting to know us now. One way would be to ask to join our events and announcements email list — you can write to Ryan at ryan [the at symbol] notjustskin.org.
About the house/community:
Maitri House is a family-inclusive, semi-urban, intergenerational intentional community of 15-20 people, currently of ages 9-70 in Takoma Park, Maryland (0.9 mile travel from Takoma Metro). One of our core aims as a community is to live out compassion in our interpersonal relationships and in our participation in the wider world. Internally, we practice compassionate communication and share our time, energy, and feelings to develop our relationships. Externally, we work to make socially responsible decisions, minimize our environmental footprint, and support activism that dismantles oppression and promotes a more peaceful and just world. Daily, we experience the joys and challenges of living in community.
The house is a four-story, brick building with 11 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms and much common space to share. It features many garden plots and fruit trees, outdoors swings, a large bike and tool shed, a giant clothesline, and a spacious balcony for outdoor lounging and sleeping under the stars.
Our community shares a set of core values (see the current draft here: http://maitrihouse.org/?page_id=43). We use a values-based consensus model of decision-making for all house-wide decisions as a means of honoring these and other values and to hold space for everyone’s opinion.
What we look for:
Below is a list of qualities we value in housemates, understanding that there’s room for differences in interpretation. If any of the points concern you or you’d like to know what we understand a certain point to mean, please let us know so we can have a conversation about it.
We’re looking for someone who (please consider each point):
– shares a vision of a world in which people work towards being in compassionate, authentic relationship with one another and is willing to actively invest time and effort into that vision;
– is willing to learn and share methods for improving relationships, resolving conflict, and building community (e.g. nonviolent communication, restorative justice practices);
– wants our group choices to contribute to the sustainability of natural systems and the well-being of all people (e.g. composting, recycling, using a clothesline, not using air conditioning, purchasing only vegan food, reducing fuel use);
– actively seeks to learn more about systems of oppression and how they play out intrapersonally, interpersonally, culturally, and systemically;
– wants to be engaged in and contribute to the community by prioritizing house meetings, house dinners, and other shared activities;
– can reliably do 4-5 hours a week of community service (e.g. cooking, cleaning, emptying the dishwasher);
– keeps community spaces pleasant, clean, safe, and inviting places to live;
– doesn’t smoke or use drugs (drinking at our house is also uncommon);
– can live without harmful synthetic chemicals and fragrances (This means avoiding products with the ingredient “fragrance”);
– enjoys kids and wants to be part of their lives; and
– enjoys simply hanging out with housemates.
Basically, we’re looking not for a housemate, but someone who is interested in being a community member, someone who aims to serve others and contribute to peace and justice in the world and who wants to have close, warm relationships with the other members of this community.
A dog might be possible, depending strongly on the dog.
We welcome prospective community members of any race, ethnicity, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, background, and age. Disability is a very diverse identity group, and our community may be able to work well for people with some disabilities and not well for others. For two examples, we have one community member who is very neuro-atypical, and at the same time sadly, our home is not wheelchair accessible. You are welcome to ask about the demographics of our house, which change from time to time.
About the Rooms
The rooms we expect to come open this year are listed below. It is possible that we would be able to adjust the costs slightly based on the needs and abilities of prospective community members.
- Open in mid-May: A smaller top-floor corner room facing northeast. Measuring about 9’x13′ plus a 6’x4’dormer, and some built in shelves. The occupancy cost is about $600/mo for 1 occupant, and $75 additional per month per additional occupant older than 2 years old.
- Open in August: A large 2nd-floor corner room, this one facing southwest. The room is a large doublet (has a smaller room accessible only from the larger room). The outer room is L-shaped and measures about 13.5′ x 18′, part of which is cut into by the smaller room, which measures about 8.5’x6′. The occupancy cost is $925/mo for 1 occupant, and $75 additional per month per additional occupant older than 2 years old.
All utilities including internet are included in the room cost. There is also a community fund ($120/mo for adults and $50/mo for children) that covers a lot of vegan food and cleaning supplies.
Last, we ask community members to buy into the co-ownership structure at the amount of one month’s room cost, which can be contributed over the first few months if needed. For brief residence, this functions as a security deposit. Either way, this money remains the member’s and can be reclaimed if/when a member departs.