Innisfree Village

Crozet, Virginia, United States

  • Last updated: January 15, 2019 (1 second ago)
  • Listing created on: December 31, 1999

Mission Statement

Lifesharing Community with adults with Intellectual Disabilities on a 550 acre farm in Central Virginia.

Community Description

Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Innisfree Village was founded in 1971 as a creative alternative for adults with intellectual disabilities (coworkers). We are a service-oriented community located on 550 acres about 20 miles from Charlottesville. Thirty-nine adults with intellectual disabilities live in 10 village houses and 2 Charlottesville houses, along with 25 full-time volunteers. The community members live together in family-style homes and work together in our workstations. The gardens, weavery, woodshop, kitchen, and bakery give meaning to our lives as therapeutic work, as well as practical, purposeful work.

Our volunteer “staff,” many of whom come from overseas, work and live together with coworkers, helping with their personal care, running a household, and working in the workstations. We ask for a one-year minimum commitment from volunteers, and offer room, board and a monthly stipend.

Innisfree is a registered nonprofit corporation, governed by a board of directors. There is an executive director and two assistant directors. There are many decisions of daily life that are made by consensus, but there are also certain decisions made by the board or the director. We are not an egalitarian community, and our mission is to create and support a life of respect, empowerment, and creativity for persons with special needs.

If interested in becoming a volunteer, please write for more information. Visitors are welcome if arrangements are made in advance.

About

  • Type(s): Unspecified, or Other
  • Programs & Activities: Volunteer, Internship, or Apprenticeship
  • Location: Rural

Housing

  • Status: We have land we have developed on
  • Area: 550 acres
  • Current Residence Types: Room(s) in a house or building
  • Current Number of Residences: 12
  • Housing Provided: Included in Membership
  • Land owned by: Board of Directors
  • Additional Comments:

    Building and upgrading houses is continual. We have 12 residential houses and about 10 other buildings which include, a Community Center, and various craft and garden work spaces. We have an 1850 farmhouse and a home completed in 2015.

Membership

  • Adult Members: 73
  • Child Members: 5
  • Non-member Residents: 0
  • Percent Women: 51-60%
  • Percent Men: 41-49%
  • Percent Transgender: 0%
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Visitor Process:

    Visitors can call ahead to arrange a tour—preferably Mon, Wed, Thu, or Fri from 10-3 p.m. If you want to apply to join as a volunteer, there is an application process, and a three-day visit is strongly recommended.

  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Membership Process:

    Members are people who come to spend at least one year with us and act as Caregivers and House Managers. In addition, the 40 adults with Intellectual Disabilities are considered permanent members.
    Coworkers (adults with disabilities) have a 6 month trial period and their families pay a monthly tuition for them to be here. The Caregivers are Volunteers who receive room and board, a monthly stipend and 15 paid vacation days in a year. They have an application process to complete which includes essay questions, a police report, references and a TB test.

Government

  • Decision Making: By a board, council, group of elders, or leadership group
  • Identified Leader: Yes
  • Leadership Core Group: Yes
  • Additional Comments:

    Executive Director

    Some consensus, also an Executive Director, and a Board of Directors

Economics

  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: No
  • Shared Income: None
  • Required Labor Contribution per Week: 0
  • Additional Comments:

    Caregivers(Volunteers) receive a monthly stipend

    Everyone participates in workstations

    Volunteers do not provide a fee, but Coworkers must be able to provide monthly tuition and a lump sum to a capital building fund.

Sustainability Practices

  • Energy Infrastructure: We are connected to the grid.
  • Current food produced: Up to 25%

Lifestyle

  • Common Facilities: Common House, Garden(s), Greenhouse(s), Vehicle Share, Workshop, Outbuilding(s), Swimming pond or pool, Large Scale Kitchen, Tractor & Farm Equipment, Fire pit, Gym or sports area, Internet
  • Internet Available: Yes, community provides it
  • Internet Fast?: Yes, it’s fine.
  • Shared meals: 2-5 times per week
  • Dietary Practice: Omnivorous (plants and animals), Mostly Vegetarian
  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: No – people may eat however they wish.
  • Special Diets OK: Yes
  • Alcohol Use: Yes, used seldomly, or ceremoniously.
  • Tobacco Use: Yes, used seldomly, or ceremoniously.
  • Additional Diet Comments:

    community lunches are vegetarian but breakfast and dinner in homes is up to the cook

    No smoking in any buildings or cars
    No illegal drugs anywhere on our property

  • Common Spiritual Practice(s): Eclectic (integrates multiple religious or spiritual beliefs), 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: Community Plan

Additional Comments

We are a community licensed by the Department of Social Services in the Commonwealth of Virginia and have an Executive Director and Board of Directors. So this, clearly has us in a category unlike Intentional Communities. We are a Service Community and are proud of our work and enjoy the community aspect of our lives together very much.

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Community Network or Organization Affiliations

The Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC)

Fair Housing Laws

This community acknowledges that their listing does not include any potential violations of the Fair Housing Law, or that they do not provide housing. For any questions about this topic please see our Content Policies and contact FIC with any questions or concerns: [email protected].

Keywords

Service, disabilities, lifesharing