The Mothership

Portland, Oregon, United States

  • Last updated: March 23, 2017 (2 months 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 in Portland, Oregon. We usually have 6-12 adults and a handful of kids. A subset of our crew (members) operate as an income sharing group.

We value supporting 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 believe everyone deserves to eat. Our food system is fully collectivized with the understanding that anyone can come eat here. We are in the planning stages of starting a free food shed on our property.

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 communicate directly, thoroughly, and the first time there is a conflict. Our goal is to avoid having unresolved interpersonal struggles that lead to a toxic living environment. If you’ve done something to upset someone at The Mothership, you either already know about it or are about to.

We commit to calling each other on acts of oppression. We have no tolerance for unapologetic racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, gender essentialism, ableism, body shaming, slut shaming, or enforcement of gender roles and stereotypes. When these things inevitably fall out of your mouth, we will talk about why they were problematic. We aspire to be a safe space for the marginalized. We’re mostly a bunch of queer/genderqueer relationship anarchists, though we also accept the cis heteromonogamists of the world (while we assimilate them).


  • 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: 0.44 acres
  • Current Residence Types: Room(s) in a house or building, Tiny house, Mobile homes, RV’s, converted buses
  • Current Number of Residences: 9
  • Housing Provided: Rental, Included in Membership
  • Land owned by: A subgroup of community members


  • Adult Members: 9
  • Child Members: 1
  • Percent Women: 71-80%
  • Percent Men: 11-20%
  • Percent Transgender: 31-40%
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Visitor Process:


  • Membership Process:

    People become members through the consent 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
  • 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), Outdoor Kitchen, Large Scale Kitchen, Fire pit, Swingsets & play areas, Internet
  • 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 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)

Community Affiliations

The Kitchen Sink


children, midwifery, dance, gardening