About us and what we want to build?
We're a small grassroots non-profit (charitable at its core) retrofitting an urban home to house persons in need, from homeless youth, single and expectant mothers, and seniors. We are made up of low-income community members based in Durham Region in support of local and area neighbourhoods.
We are working to build a co-living culture that feels like a warm, welcoming, and inclusive space. We are left-leaning, environmentally conscious, socially aware individuals who value intersectional feminism, an awareness and empathy for the world around us, and holding space for others while speaking our truth. We treat people the way we want to be treated and the atmosphere will be lighthearted, respectful, and fun.
It's our hope this will a genuine and holistic space to connect youth and adults with housing, education, and community through:
Living – providing a safe, stable and affordable environment
Learning – developing life skills and educational opportunities
Growing – exploring new horizons, evolving awareness and interconnectivity of the environment and its ecosystem, and expanding relationships with people and the community
Earning – providing community opportunities for generating income
What is co-living?
Collective housing, co-living, and shared communities aren't new concepts, they're an old one, but they're becoming more prominent as they leverage the power of people.
It's a home where residents live together, share major expenses, decision-making, and common areas, and are socially active amongst themselves and the community, improving their personal happiness. It's a relevant option for residents who sense a lack of community, safety and affordability in regular housing.
While co-living aims to free residents from the everyday drudgery of chores, there's a sense of purpose and deep satisfaction when contributing to a greater cause — whether by designing shared rooms, helping to prepare communal meals, building an aquaponics system or maintaining the day-to-day upkeep, like washing dishes, cleaning the bathroom or scooping cat litter.
When you work side-by-side with housemates, your quality of life is that much better when you experience and share it with others.
What are the benefits?
Have you ever felt the squeeze of financial obligations? Living in a group can be a big money-saver, providing more value for things like bulk food, utilities, household items and supplies, social activities, and more.
Have you ever bought abything and didn't end up using it much? Sharing a home with others provides the opportunity to borrow what you don’t have – computer, printer, bike, etc.
Have you noticed how housing is getting smaller, but rent is getting higher? Shared living provides you with more space and amenities than you would be able to afford alone.
Have you ever had to pay for utilities and had to conserve to cut costs? Shared living is a more sustainable way to live in terms of energy and resources. Living as a collective, we can cut down on how many appliances we need to run, or items we end up buying (and later throwing away).
Have you ever felt drained by the sight of your household 'To Do' list? Shared livings means more people to lighten the burden of the necessary evils of life, e.g. cleaning, yard work, taking out the trash and recycling, etc.
Have you ever hesitated to answer a knock at the door when alone? With more people living in a home, it is much less likely to get broken into, providing an additional level of safety.
Do you keep to yourself, or ever feel isolated or lonely? Have you ever been lonely? In co-living communities, the home becomes so much more than a place to rest your head at night. Member events could be held every day of the week, including movie nights, yoga classes, game night and more.
Have you ever wished you had someone to come home to, to talk to or do things with? It’s nice to have a friendly face to come home to at the end of a long day. Meals, movies, exercising, heck, even chores – they’re all a bit more fun with other people.
When home alone, have you ever felt bored, tired or drained? Not only is it more enjoyable, being part of a community – or simply living in a more social way – it's proven to make you healthier, happier, and live a longer and more fulfilling life.
In many ways, shared communities are like an extended family, not without the trivial squabble from time-to-time, but they're there when you need them.
Who is co-living for?
Co-living is for anyone who values the 3 C’s:
• Some want to lessen the hassle out of their life by paying one bill that covers everything.
• Others are tired of paying too much for too little, fed up of bad landlords and tired of waiting months to get anything fixed.
• Many people choose co-living because they want the person-to-person connection of community. Since the advent of cell phones and digital media, the "loneliness epidemic" has gone viral and people are feeling the human disconnect.
Whatever your reason, there may be something in co-living for you.
About us and what we're looking for?
We have a dream of building a co-living home and a nurturing and inclusive space. We're always trying to better ourselves and become more active in the community and we looking for people who are interested in social causes, want to build community, and can appreciate a nourishing and supportive atmosphere.
When were not otherwise engaged in day-to-day commitments, we're into homebody activities on our downtime, things like:
• Starting a creative project or craft; learning a new skill; making improvements to the home and fixing anything that needs fixin
• Cooking delicious meals for the weeks ahead
• Getting out in the yard and doing some gardening
• Having a movie or TV series marathon, complete with fresh popcorn and our favorite candy
• Getting out an old video game we haven’t played in forever and spending a few hours just having fun
• Meditating, practicing yoga, or getting some exercise
We're seeking folks in Durham or area with marginalized backgrounds willing to join us in building a self-sufficient and sustainable home. We value diversity, creative personalities, and mixed experiences and interests, while also keeping a look out for similar traits and proclivities, including the following:
• You're a non-smoker whose comfortable with a sober lifestyle — Social drinking and other recreational elements on occasion would be fine, but in moderation and not excess
• You value direct, compassionate communication if / when there's an interpersonal disagreement or issue, and would be commited to maintaining a positive environment free of violence, abuse, theft, and oppression
• You're environmentally aware (you recycle & compost, put on a sweater before turning up the heat, are conscious about meat consumption, and turn lights off when you leave a room)
• You maintain a daytime, non-nocturnal schedule and like spending time with your housemates
• You're into (or open to) group activities like board games, potluck dinners, evening bike rides, and community activities
• You respect a home as a sanctuary and refuge
• You are respectful of personal spaces/items, and understand what consent and healthy boundaries look like
• You're willing to participate in household projects and improvements, you prefer a clean environment and are willing to pull your weight on a chore wheel to keep common spaces usable and clean
To join this little project, you must be...
• Between the ages of 16 and 65+ years of age
• Canadian citizen, landed immigrant, or convention refugee
• At-risk, working poor, or homeless persons
• Student (local or international), employed, on or eligible for Ontario Works, ODSP, or EI
• Have no current criminal proceedings or addictions*
We do not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender expression, age, height, weight, physical or mental ability, veteran status, military obligations, and marital status.
If you're looking for a place to call home, but are hard-pressed to find one you can afford...
If you're not living the life you want or feel isolated and alone...
If you're willing to work together as a community for more of what you want and less of what you don't...
...shared community may be just what you need!
*While we do not discriminate against any person actively working through personal challenges, either through counselling or treatment, we are unable to consider any person that is
NOT actively getting the support needed with current drug or alcohol problems, recent history of violent behavior, or a mental health disorder or issue.
If you are actively getting support, you are welcome.
What you can expect?
This is a social non-profit and charitable initiative, but its core bears simmilarity to the grassroots cooperatives of old — a time when communities were created of the people, by the people, and for the people.
We are ordinary folk like you, no better or worse, with similar struggles, frailties and imperfections, and the same potential to contribute to a stronger, equal, and inclusive community.
• An affordable place to live
• To feel supported in your efforts to grow as a person and make the transition to a self-sufficient lifestyle
• To feel heard and respected
• To learn green concepts and skills, and participate in sustainable builds
• Opportunities to engage and learn from the community
• To gain a unique perspective and work together to achieve a healthier and happier way of living
What's a pod?
Pods will be custom built private spaces balancing minimalist design with rich micro-living features. Pods will be a mix of dual level bunk beds or multi-level micro furniture able to shift to meet varying needs, including a closet, shelving, couch and table/desk. Pods will be outfitted with a flat screen TV, double size memory foam mattress, an LED night light, and power outlests. Additional feature may be available once design is refined.