Last updated: November 20, 2010 (5 years ago)

Listing created on: October 9, 2004


(Staten Island, New York, United States)

  • Status: Established
  • Started Planning: 1978
  • Start Living Together: 1978
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Website address:
  • Contact Name: Susan Grossman
  • Phone: 718-720-5378
  • Address:
    135 Corson Ave
    Staten Island, New York, 10301-2933
    United States
  • Visitor Process

    Visitors accepted: Yes
    You may visit for dinner at no cost or stay with us for a reasonable fee. Depending on our needs and your skills, you may prefer to work with us for your expenses, plus a small stipend and share of profits. More information is on our website. Potential visitors should email Susan at our email address to set up a visit.

  • Membership Process

    Open to new Members: Yes

Mission Statement:

problem solving, communication

Community Description:

Ganas is Spanish for “motivation sufficient to act.” We are 75 people who are cultivating the “ganas” to learn how to address the problems and conflicts that come from sharing our lives together. The result is a challenging, rich environment that truly embraces diversity.

We are a group of about 75 people of all ages who are learning to solve the problems and resolve the conflicts that come from sharing our lives and living together. We started in 1978 as a group of six. A core group of 10 of us now serves as our board of directors. Members of the core group share all of their resources and income, and own and manage the community. They include many of Ganas’ founders.

Other members of the community don’t share income but participate to varying degrees in community life and decision making. Some work in the community or one of our businesses; others work outside and pay a monthly share of expenses. Everyone participates in decision making and/or other aspects of managing our lives together, though some more than others.

Our problem-solving process emphasizes personal responsibility, willingness to hear, and intention to disclose what’s happening. Over the past 30 years we have established an innovative dialogue that is open, focused, penetrating, and respectful. Feedback, used with care and consent, is one of our tools.

We have eight houses in Staten Island (30 minutes by ferry from Manhattan), adorned by trees, and flower, and vegetable gardens.

Our used furniture and clothing stores emphasize teamwork and participatory management and are staffed by Ganas members. Encouraging reuse and recycling is fulfilling as a way of right livelihood. We also operate a cafe/used book shop and neighborhood stage.


  • Adult Members: 75
  • Child Members: 5
  • Percent Women: 41-49%
  • Percent Men: 51-60%
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Open to new Members: Yes

Social Factors

  • Education Style(s): Private School off the property, Public Schooling


  • Decision Making: Consensus (everyone agrees)
  • Identified Leader: No
  • Leadership Core Group: Yes

Land and Buildings

  • Area: 2 acres
  • Land owned by: A subgroup of community members
  • Current Number of Residences: 8

Labor and Money

    • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: No
    • Open to members with existing debt: Yes


    • Required Labor Contribution: 0


    • Additional Comments: core group members pool all resources. others pay$510-760/month or work in the community

      4 hours a week for each member

      $710 deposit



  • Shared meals: Approximately all dinners
  • Current food produced: Up to 25%


  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: Not at all important – people may eat however they individually choose.
  • Dietary Practice: Omnivorous (plants and animals)


  • Alcohol Use: Yes, used occasionally.


  • Tobacco Use: Yes, used seldomly, or ceremoniously.


  • Additional comments: plus breakfast 5 days a week at our planning sessions


Community Network or Organization Affiliations

Federation of Egalitarian Communities (FEC), The Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC)

We happily link to the following organizations, all of whom share our strong commitment to promoting community and a more cooperative world:
Cohousing The Federation of Egalitarian Communities - Communes Coop Community Cooperative Sustainable Intentional North American Students of Cooperation Global Ecovillage Network
Special thanks to the sponsors of our Art of Community Events.
Bryan Bowan Architects California Cohousing International Communes Desk ICSA NICA Wolf Creek Lodge