It seems the term chosen family was created and popularized by the LGBTQ+ crowd. These resources can help you find your people and learn from others how to create a shared residence for that family. Read below to learn about how to find LGBTQ Intentional Communities including gay, lesbian, and queer intentional communities and shared housing.
Steps to renting together
- Find recruits thru personal networks or social media platforms. Invite those interested to complete a profile at ICmatch.org to identify whether potential members have a similar lifestyle and values. You may end up sorting into two or more groups. If the housing is planned specifically for non-binary, males, or females only, word your ads in a way that does not make you vulnerable to accusations of discrimination. This is where getting your groups together first and getting the housing second can help you: No one can bring a complaint against you for advertising about getting a group of like-minded people together to create a housing-search strategy. Then once you agree on who’s a good fit, you find and fill up the place without advertising a rental.
- Decide what residential areas you all find appealing and what type of place would work for you all. It may be most simple for one or two people to sublet to others. Alternately, for guidance on searching for and qualifying for your ideal place as a rental group, see the instructions in the resources section below, based on three decades of creating community houses.
- Discuss who will manage bills and other responsibilities that maintain the residence long term. If it’s one person, rather than a rotating responsibility or ongoing group decision, discuss what benefit (e.g., first choice of bedroom) or rent discount might be given for taking on that role.
- Agree on and print house rules, including how group decisions are made, timing of regular meetings, and how chores are assigned. Set the initial culture and governance style carefully, because it will likely be perpetuated even if there is eventually complete turnover of residents.
- Invite friends to your biggest housewarming party ever!
Examples of LGBTQ Intentional Communities
Charlie Lake LGBTQ House in BC is posted as a forming community.
The Supernuclear blog has tips and stories about living with a group of friends in over-priced big city apartments. If you’re hankering for the open road instead, here’s an idea: LGBTQ+ Van life meetup.
Resources for LGBTQ Communities
Here is a practical description of how to find and modify a rented or purchased house to create and invite renters into a shared-residence IC.
NAMI states that “there is strong evidence from recent research that members of this community are at a higher risk for experiencing mental health conditions — especially depression and anxiety disorders….LGB youth also experience greater risk for mental health conditions and suicidality.”
Recent mental health care reforms in the U.S. promise to provide funding for treatment facilities. By using the clubhouse model, small facilities targeting select groups could successfully begin treating vulnerable populations as daytime and/or residential care.