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Community Living in Missoula

Destini V


Joined: Feb 15, 2010
Posts: 121
Location: Missoula, MT
I saw this called "intentional community" on another forum. Is anyone doing this now and having success?

I know of a westside collective of houses, though I'm not clear on the details of what a collective means to them. Personally I imagine a multi-bedroom house with about 16 people, including a few children. It would be full and happy sometimes, but often quiet in order to let the inhabitants concentrate on creative projects or just be able to sit peacefully for awhile. There would probably be a garden and absolutely no lists of chores or rules. As this is an ideal I'm thinking about here, chores and interactions would need some structure, but a more organic kind of structure based on likes, strengths, and what needs to be done. Since everything would be more organic, people who decide they need to make a list of rules will be forgiven once they come to their senses or they can move with no hard feelings.

What I would really like to know is are there households with a more communal bond here in Missoula or nearby? They wouldn't have to live up to the ideal I described above. I just haven't seen or heard of any intentional communities in this area. It would surprise me if there were none at all.
Destini V


Joined: Feb 15, 2010
Posts: 121
Location: Missoula, MT
Just remembered that I have seen a few places which were kind of getting close to the idea, though they weren't really doing it on purpose. Also, in my mind self-sufficiency and mutual support would be a major goal of these micro communities.
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 14163
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
SunDog is an official IC - listed at ic.org

Depending on how loosely you define IC, there are the frats and sororities.  And the old folks homes.

I live in a rather massive house that has four adults and a few kids.


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Destini V


Joined: Feb 15, 2010
Posts: 121
Location: Missoula, MT
Wow. Sun Dog sounds like a really successful endeavor. Why haven't I heard of them before?

To answer your question, I think of an IC as the end goal or at least a long term investment for everyone who lives within it. Some people might eventually grow in a different direction and decide to move, but the household itself would retain some structure unless everyone decides to leave at once. Other than that, some perks might include self-sufficiency and helping eachother get through hard times and having lots of people around to help with projects that improve everyone's happiness.

Co-living situations are definitely a step in that direction.
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 14163
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
Destini Vaile wrote:
Wow. Sun Dog sounds like a really successful endeavor. Why haven't I heard of them before?


I think this statement is today's poster child for why these forums are needed so much!


Greg M Peters


Joined: Feb 16, 2010
Posts: 74
I don't know if it's "official" but the UM FLAT (University of Montana, Forum for Living with Appropriate Technology) is definitely intentional and a community.  They have a garden, a house, a community building.  It's the brainchild of my good friend Derek Kanwisher.  They even have a newslettter that just arrived in my inbox.  Check it out at
http://www.umt.edu/umflat/

Destini V


Joined: Feb 15, 2010
Posts: 121
Location: Missoula, MT
Wow, these two pieces of information alone make me very happy that this forum is here! Do you have to be a student to be involved with the FLAT project? Have they had any kind of press that slipped by me?
Greg M Peters


Joined: Feb 16, 2010
Posts: 74
Destini Vaile wrote:
Wow, these two pieces of information alone make me very happy that this forum is here! Do you have to be a student to be involved with the FLAT project? Have they had any kind of press that slipped by me?


I'm not quite sure about the student thing.  I doubt it though.  It's located right near the University.  I pulled this location description off the website -  633 5th Street East: Off of the NW corner of Campus: 4 homes down from the International House facing Jeannette Rankin Park and the Madison Street Bridge.

I know they're having a work party this Saturday - 2/20/10 - all day.  Check it out and introduce yourself.  Good people doing a cool thing.  In fact, I was in the class where Derek Kanwisher, the guy who started the whole thing, first had the idea.  It was literally a class project three years ago that is now a functioning and growing resource for Missoula. 
mjxland Hatfield


Joined: Feb 14, 2010
Posts: 9
I know of quite a few of what I call "microhoods"  around Missoula.  Not formal intentional communities but areas where groups of neighbors share greenhouses, tools, gardening experience, childcare, hot tubs etc.  I'm part of one and enjoy it alot.  Several of us bought in on a new battery operated lawn mower.  Not only did it cut the cost way down but none of us are running nasty smelly loud gas hogs anymore.

But I've lived and worked communally before and still kind of want that "intentional" part.
                    


Joined: Oct 23, 2011
Posts: 0
I believe that homeWORD is leaning toward "intentional community" I'm not sure of all the details & how the reality of communal bonding is working out.

I do know that when I watched their documentary on TV about the building on Orange St. it seemed that they had dreams of "intentional community",  anyway it is great progress for Missoullas' green living movement.  D

Info. below from http://www.homeword.org/
homeWORD is a non profit in Missoula and Billings Montana committed to providing safe, healthy affordable housing using sustainable methods and promoting strong communities through housing counseling and education for those most in need.
Destini V


Joined: Feb 15, 2010
Posts: 121
Location: Missoula, MT
Wondering if anyone has personal stories of living communally. ?
Robert Sunset


Joined: Aug 30, 2010
Posts: 133
I was born and raised in Ocean Beach, CA which is a very unique kind of community and as a kid, we had about 4 blocks that I'd definitely call "community living".  There were people of all races there and some people from Jordan ran a little store right by the local co-op.  That little store let everyone have a charge account and almost every night everyone had a bbq or pot luck with dozens of very familiar faces in attendance.

It was a great experience I'll never forget from when I was a kid and haven't seen anything similar since (it was the mid-80s then).  People traded services for food and stuff so a broken toilet was fixed by someone who was paid in chili or whatever.  It's all gone now but a lot of those people still live there and have a similar barter system which is very cool.  Too bad the open lots that were gardens have become apartments.
 
Did you see how Paul cut 87% off of his electric heat bill with 82 watts of micro heaters?
 
subject: Community Living in Missoula
 
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