Our purpose statement – This is the primary reason the community exists.
We aim to be a supportive, connected, multigenerational, and family-friendly community that finds meaning and enjoyment in living together. We strive to live more sustainably and to act with concern for the well-being of people and the planet.
Essential conditions for a healthy and life-giving community – This is what we believe makes our community possible.
We want our community to be a strong and resilient network of people based on three principles:
· Personal responsibility for personal well-being: Each person, with the exception of one who has a designated caretaker, is ultimately responsible for meeting their own needs for physical, emotional, and mental well-being.
· Strong, caring relationships: Each person shows care and respect for other housemates and invests time and energy into building positive, strong, trusting relationships.
· Care for the community: We each dedicate our energy and skills to support the well-being of the whole community by attending to the web of relationships in our community, the physical and financial infrastructure, and the health of the organization. This includes committing to community agreements and actively participating in group processes.
We want our community to comprise close relationships that develop through a sense of affinity, a sense of shared values, and a sense of trust and connection gained through experiences living and making decisions together.
We want our community to evolve through relationships, self-reflection and personal growth, cooperation, and generative tension and conflict.
We want to cultivate a culture of courageous and compassionate communication. This involves speaking with one another respectfully, talking about our feelings and perspectives honestly and openly, taking time to listen to and understand one another, taking ownership of our personal experiences, and holding care for ourselves and others.
We want our community to be a safe and supportive place that feels like home.
We want our community to be able to financially sustain itself.
Our shared values (and practices) – These are some of the shared values that bring us together. These values are aspirational; we do not claim to live up to them perfectly or all the time. Different people in the community prioritize and interpret these values differently. We do not assume to have the right or ideal interpretation or expression of these values. We do desire sufficient alignment around these values to support effective values-based consensus decision-making and a comfortable home for those who are living together.
Prioritizing the Vitality, Wellness, and Connectedness of our Relationships
We value learning how to develop relationships of higher quality in our community, through honest, open, and compassionate communication with one another. We value emotional vulnerability, self-reflection, personal growth, supporting one another in sharing dissenting perspectives, inclusive decision-making, and cooperative and generative approaches to conflict resolution.
We value living with people from different backgrounds as a way of learning, growing, and gaining a fuller picture of the world. We recognize that people experience various forms and levels of oppression on a daily basis, based on race, class, gender, ability, sexuality, citizenship status, religion, and many other identities. We want to be sensitive to and not marginalize anyone’s experiences. We also value a home space that prioritizes personal expression and emotional safety for all those who live here. We understand that the specific culture of this community is one in which many people will not feel comfortable living, and that there are some aspects of that culture that we hold dear.
Connecting Across Difference
We recognize that each person approaches life from a unique perspective that is influenced by one’s identities, life experiences, and worldviews. We value developing greater awareness of and deeper caring for the various ways in which people have been marginalized and hurt by society, and we see relationship as the primary tool to do that in our community. We value exploring, addressing, and breaking down barriers generated by systems of oppression that may appear in the form of assumptions, bias, stereotypes, lack of awareness, and patterns of internalized superiority or inferiority, while honoring the full humanity of everyone.
Life-Affirming Social Change
We value life-affirming social change that leads to a world where the needs of people and other beings are better met. We aim to understand systems of oppression and domination as they play out in the world and in our lives, and we seek to shape and change them with curiosity, humility, and love. We value supporting nonviolent approaches to conflict, responsible use of resources, local economies, and efforts to strengthen our local community. We particularly value supporting efforts led by those who are marginalized. We value our community supporting larger efforts to break down structural oppression and create shifts toward a more life-affirming society.
We value considering our impact on the Earth’s ecosystems and moving toward more sustainable practices such as sharing resources, reducing waste, lowering our fossil fuel consumption, relying less on animal agriculture, and engaging in more sustainable food production in our home and the larger community. We value moving away from consumerism and toward cyclical resource use.
Respect for Animals
We care about the feelings of animals, so we consider the impact of our choices upon their lives and well-being.
Joy in Companionship
We value being together joyfully and caring for one another. We value quality time and sharing meals, projects, play, and outings.