Staten Island, New York, United States

  • Last updated: November 29, 2017 (2 seconds ago)
  • Listing created on: October 9, 2004

Mission Statement

Our purpose is to bring reason and emotion together in daily problem solving, in order to create our world, with love, the way we want it to be. Open minds make it possible to talk together and understand each other better. We are learning how to cooperate, care for each other and share resources. We welcome those who want to join us in learning together.

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.

  • Status: Established (At least 4+ adults, 2+ years)
  • Started Planning: 1978
  • Start Living Together: 1978
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Please read the details in Membership below before contacting this community. Send Message
  • Website address:
  • Business, Project, or Organization:
  • Contact Name: Susan Grossman
  • Phone: 718-720-5378
  • Community Address:
    135 Corson Ave
    Staten Island, New York, 10301-2933
    United States
  • FIC Membership

    Since 1990
    This Community is an FIC Member
  • Location


  • Type(s): Unspecified, or Other
  • Programs & Activities: Volunteer, Internship, or Apprenticeship, Ethical Business, Investment Group, or Alternative Currency, Organization, Resource, or Network
  • Location: Urban


  • Status: We have land we have developed on
  • Area: 2 acres
  • Current Residence Types: Room(s) in a house or building
  • Current Number of Residences: 8
  • Housing Provided: Rental, Included in Membership
  • Land owned by: A subgroup of community members


  • Adult Members: 70
  • Child Members: 5
  • Non-member Residents: 0
  • Percent Women: 41-49%
  • Percent Men: 51-60%
  • Percent Transgender: 1-10%
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Visitor Process:

    You may visit for dinner at no cost or stay with us for a few days or weeks for a reasonable fee. More information is on our website. Potential visitors should email Susan at our email address to set up a visit.

  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Membership Process:

    For people who want to work in the community, they need to apply for an available position, be interviewed, and have a one month work trial. If you work in the community you are paid enough to cover your monthly dues and have approximately $350-400 a month on top of that. For people who will work outside the community and pay their monthly dues (currently $810 a month) from outside work, they need to contact Susan and arrange to come for the weekly visitors’ dinner or if possible a short visit. After that they will be placed on the waiting list which is currently about 6 months to a year long.


  • Decision Making: By a board, council, group of elders, or leadership group
  • Identified Leader: No
  • Leadership Core Group: Yes
  • Additional Comments:

    Each area has an area manager who is authorized to make decisions in his/her area after consulting with the members of that work area. 5 days a week we have a morning planning meeting and discuss, among other things, issues that involve more than one area, conflicts between and within areas, or concerns that are new. After discussion, area managers are authorized to decide. Any member of the community can attend and participate in the discussion but decisions are not made by consensus. At our morning planning meeting we also discuss personal issues, visions for the future, and many other community and personal topics.


  • Join Fee: $920
  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: No
  • Shared Income: Partial share of income
  • Required Labor Contribution per Week: 4
  • Open to members with existing debt: Yes
  • Additional Comments:

    core group members pool all resources. others pay $810/month dues

    4 hours a week for each member

    $810 deposit

Sustainability Practices

  • Energy Infrastructure: We are connected to the grid.
  • Current renewable energy generation: Up to 25%
  • Energy sources: Solar
  • Planned renewable energy generation: 26-49%
  • Current food produced: Up to 25%
  • Planned food produced: Up to 25%
  • Food produced locally: Up to 25%


  • Common Facilities: Common House, Garden(s), Greenhouse(s), Library, Swimming pond or pool, Fire pit, Swingsets & play areas, Gym or sports area, 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 Practice: Omnivorous (plants and animals), Paleo (no grains, dairy, processed foods, or legumes), Vegetarian Only (no animal meat; dairy and eggs okay) – Please check this only if you are 100% Vegetarian, Mostly Vegetarian, Vegan Only (plants only, no animal products) – Please check this only if you are 100% Vegan., Mostly Vegan, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free
  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: No – people may eat however they wish.
  • Special Diets OK: Sometimes
  • Alcohol Use: Yes, used occasionally.
  • Tobacco Use: Yes, used occasionally.
  • Additional Diet Comments:

    plus breakfast 5 days a week at our planning sessions. We try to accommodate vegetarian, vegan, paleo diets by including items in our 5 day a week dinner that people following those diets can eat.

  • Common Spiritual Practice(s): Ecumenical (accepts all religions or spiritual practices), Not a particularly spiritual or religious community
  • Spiritual Practice Expected?: No
  • Education Style(s): Private School off the property, Public Schooling, Up to each family or individual
  • Healthcare Options: Up to each family or individual

Video Gallery

Community Network or Organization Affiliations

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


intentional community, diversity, communication