The Mothership

Portland, Oregon, United States

  • Last updated: April 21, 2018 (2 seconds ago)
  • Listing created on: May 25, 2014

Mission Statement

Queer-friendly child-centric community house with a focus on social justice.

Community Description

The Mothership is an urban intentional community living in two houses in Portland, Oregon. There are currently 11 people living here, and we are in the process of acquiring a third house which will increase our population capacity to 17, and then to build 4 additional bedrooms beyond that.

We have a fully collectivized food system with the understanding that anyone can come eat here, we share most household expenses, and a subset of us operate as a fully income sharing group.

We support each other as parents, believe children should be treated like humans, and humans should be treated well. Many of us co-parent each other’s kids and we generally believe children to be the responsibility of the group.

We love welcoming guests. Many people think of The Mothership as home base and stop in to refuel, gather supplies, and plan new expeditions.

We are committed to clear, direct, and open communication, which we maintain with regularly scheduled (twice a year with each member of the house) one on one conversations and more one on one, small group, and whole community discussions on an as-needed basis. We encourage communication early and often, and we endeavor to avoid having unresolved interpersonal struggles that lead to a toxic living environment. If you’ve upset someone at The Mothership, you either already know about it or are about to.

We acknowledge having been raised in a culture that teaches racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, gender essentialism, ableism, body shaming, slut shaming, and the enforcement of gender roles and stereotypes. When these things inevitably fall out of our mouths, we are committed to talking about why they were problematic and how we can do better in the future.

We aspire to be a safe space for the marginalized. We have cultivated a culture that feels safe and comfortable for many queer, non-binary, and transgender people, as evidenced by our current demographics: we are over 70% LGBTQIA. Two of our eleven current members are people of color, one of whom brought forward a vision of using the large number of living spaces opening up to create a culture where people of color feel similarly safe and at ease in their homes. We are collectively working toward that dream.


  • Type(s): Commune (organized around sharing almost everything), Shared Housing, Cohouseholding, or Coliving (multiple individuals sharing a dwelling)
  • Location: Urban


  • Status: We have land we have developed on
  • Area: 0.66 acres
  • Current Residence Types: Room(s) in a house or building, Tiny house, Mobile homes, RV’s, converted buses
  • Current Number of Residences: 11
  • Planned number of residences: 10
  • Planned Residence Types: Tiny house
  • Housing Provided: Rental, Included in Membership
  • Land owned by: A subgroup of community members


  • Adult Members: 14
  • Child Members: 1
  • Non-member Residents: 0
  • Percent Women: 71-80%
  • Percent Men: 11-20%
  • Percent Transgender: 31-40%
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Visitor Process:


  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Membership Process:

    People become members through the consensus of the current membership. Typically, new members will already be friends of the community.


  • Decision Making: Modified Consensus (everyone agrees, with some exceptions or fallbacks.)
  • Identified Leader: No
  • Leadership Core Group: Yes
  • Additional Comments:

    We believe in consent and we don’t believe in wasting time. A general guideline is that if it takes more work to do than to undo, it’s a good idea to check in with people who might care.


  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: Yes
  • Regular Fee per Month: $790
  • Shared Income: All or close to all
  • Required Labor Contribution per Week: 0
  • Open to members with existing debt: Yes (some debt)

Sustainability Practices

  • Energy Infrastructure: We are connected to the grid.
  • Current renewable energy generation: 50-75%
  • Energy sources: Clean Energy from the Grid
  • Planned renewable energy generation: Almost All, around 90%
  • Current food produced: Up to 25%
  • Planned food produced: Up to 25%
  • Food produced locally: From 50-75%


  • Common Facilities: Common House, Garden(s), Vehicle Share, Library, Outbuilding(s), Hot tub or hot springs, Outdoor Kitchen, Large Scale Kitchen, Fire pit, Swingsets & play areas, Internet
  • Internet Available: Yes, community provides it
  • Internet Fast?: Yes, exceptionally.
  • Cell Phone Service: Good for most people.
  • Shared meals: 2-5 times per week
  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: No – people may eat however they wish.
  • Special Diets OK: Sometimes
  • Alcohol Use: Yes, used occasionally.
  • Tobacco Use: No, this community does not permit tobacco use.
  • Education Style(s): Up to each family or individual
  • Expected Healthcare Practices:

    Vaccinations are required unless you cannot be vaccinated for bona fide medical reasons.

Community Network or Organization Affiliations

Federation of Egalitarian Communities (FEC)


children, midwifery, dance, gardening