Walnut Street Co-op

Eugene, Oregon, United States

  • Last updated: April 3, 2017 (1 month ago)
  • Listing created on: October 4, 2004

Mission Statement

We provide affordable shared housing with a strong inclination towards social change & sustainability.

Community Description

Walnut Street Co-op is a social change oriented cooperative household in Eugene, Oregon. In September 2000 we moved into a large, rambling house together, seeking to build community. Three years later we formed a legal co-op, funding the project with many small loans from like-minded individuals. As housemates, we eat dinner together, share chores, attend house meetings and work parties, and have a basic commitment to resolve conflicts. We trust that each person holds a piece of the truth, and we are committed to deep listening with each other. Over time we’re finding that our friendships are deepening and a shared vision is emerging based on creating shifts in society toward dialogue, deliberation, and integration of diverse viewpoints.

Links:

About

  • Type(s): Shared Housing, Cohouseholding, or Coliving (multiple individuals sharing a dwelling)
  • Location: Urban

Housing

  • Status: We have land we have developed on
  • Area: 0.2 acres
  • Current Residence Types: Room(s) in a house or building
  • Current Number of Residences: 9
  • Housing Provided: Rental
  • Land owned by: our Walnut St. Co-op Corporation

Membership

  • Adult Members: 9
  • Percent Women: 61-70%
  • Percent Men: 21-30%
  • Percent Transgender: 0%
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Visitor Process:

    Phone or email us ahead of time. First visit usually consists of joining us for dinner and a tour.

  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Membership Process:

    Our admissions process involves 3 free dinners, attending one house meeting, and then sharing in an interview process. We sometimes do Skype interactions but much prefer face-to-face. For more information, please email us.

  • Additional Comments:

    We are a single house with shared bathrooms. The living arrangements are members have their own bedrooms, but everything else is shared space. Typically, vacancies come up on an individual basis, meaning once in a while a bedroom will become unoccupied. This kind of set up is generally not a great fit for people who aren’t single adults or a partnered couple. Our bedrooms are quite small, which would make sharing them with parents and children pretty crowded. For this reason, our community is not ideal for families.

Government

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

    All residents participate equally in day-to-day decisions, including chores, activities, shared foods, and acceptance of new residents, usually in house meetings or through email discussions. The board of the co-op is responsible for the long-term well-being of the community and makes decisions on financing, capital improvements and a few other matters as specified in our bylaws.

    Our governing spirit is “feeling our way together” summarized in the term “co-sensing”.

    Weekly house meetings

Economics

  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: Yes
  • Shared Income: None
  • Required Labor Contribution: Encouraged or suggested
  • Open to members with existing debt: Yes
  • Additional Comments:

    We share food expenses, currently $140/month per person which stocks an extensive, entirely vegetarian, mostly organic and/or local pantry.

    Cook/clean for one dinner per week, and participate in house chores, monthly work parties, weekly house meetings, and occasional other projects as needed. (Cooking dinner is expected with some exceptions allowed. Chores are largely self-assigned and reported (and sometimes discussed) at meetings; a wide range of engagement is respected but sincere co-creative participation is expected and offered.)

    We each contribute monthly for rent, utilities, and food.

Sustainability Practices

  • Energy Infrastructure: We are connected to the grid.
  • Current renewable energy generation: 50-75%
  • Energy sources: Clean Energy from the Grid, Connected to the Grid
  • Planned renewable energy generation: 100%
  • Current food produced: Up to 25%
  • Planned food produced: Up to 25%
  • Food produced locally: Between 26-49%

Lifestyle

  • Common Facilities: Common House, Garden(s), Vehicle Share, Library, Workshop, Fire pit, Recreational vehicles, Internet, TV, office, wi-fi, musical instruments, storage, laundry, kitchens, bike garage
  • Internet Available: Yes, community provides it
  • Internet Fast?: Yes, it’s fine.
  • Cell Phone Service: Good for most people.
  • Shared meals: 2-5 times per week
  • Dietary Practice: Omnivorous (plants and animals), Paleo (no grains, dairy, processed foods, or legumes), Local (food sourced within 150 miles), Organic (no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers), GMO Free (only non-genetically modified organisms), Mostly Vegetarian, Mostly Vegan, Opportunivore (dumpster diving, nature harvesting, etc.), Raw or Mostly Raw, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, we have had all kinds of dietary preferences here, and try to accommodate at every dinner. We have separate veg and meat kitchens.
  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: No – people may eat however they wish.
  • Special Diets OK: Yes
  • Alcohol Use: Yes, used often.
  • Tobacco Use: Yes, used occasionally.
  • Additional Diet Comments:

    Dinners Monday-Friday are organized – everyone cooks/cleans once per week, and informally we often cook for each other more than that, using the (almost all organic) food we all buy collectively.

    Vegetable & herb garden in front yard; fruit trees; five chickens. Buy much of our produce from local/alternative markets and usually subscribe to a CSA (community supported agriculture farm).

    As a community we buy only vegetarian food, however individuals are free to buy meat with their own money and store/cook it in the second kitchen.

    Beer/wine generally, sometimes we brew our own beer.

    Tobacco use is permitted outdoors only

  • Common Spiritual Practice(s): Not a particularly spiritual or religious Community
  • Education Style(s): Up to each family or individual
  • Healthcare Options: Up to each family or individual

Community Network or Organization Affiliations

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

Keywords

permaculture, urban, farming, pets, social change, co-sensing, cooperative, co-creative, busy