Community Living


  • Considering Community Life
  • Community Living Guidelines

The purpose of community is for members to live in a supportive environment and get to know one another.

Currently, the cities that offer community living are Apopka, FL; Baltimore, MD; Bend, OR; Hartford/New Haven, CT; Los Angeles, CA; Rochester, NY; San Francisco/Redwood City, CA; Washington, DC; and Watsonville, CA.


Each group shapes their own living experience. Members should approach community living with an open mind and a willingness to engage with others about what form community will take. Some possibilities include:

  • shared meals
  • shared budget
  • shared chores
  • social activities
  • group reflection
  • collaborative service projects

In addition, all community members share responsibility for maintaining their living space.

Each community is paired with a community support person. The role of the community support person varies according to the needs of the community, but generally she or he is someone with experience of community life who can help the members as they adjust to the city and to each other.

Here are some questions to use when considering whether or not community living is right for you:

  1. Are you a flexible person? Are you open to living with people that may have differnet lifestyles?
  2. How much personal time do you like to have? Social time? How will you communicate these needs with your community?
  3. How far is the house from your service placement? How will you arrange transportation?
  4. What are your expectations of community living? Are they realistic?

Members should be serious in considering their decision to live in community.

Those who choose to live in community have an obligation to promote community, and avoid those things which are divisive.

Members can promote community by:

  • Being respectful, open and supportive of others
  • Being inclusive when forming friendships
  • Communicating clearly and often with housemates

We have found the following to be hurtful to community, and therefore discourage:

  • Words or actions which do not respect diversity
  • Consistent non-participation in community life
  • Non-participation in communal agreements (e.g. groceries, chores, rent, etc.)
  • Excessive drinking
  • Exclusive relationships, either friendly or romantic, that would limit the member's involvement with the whole community
  • Having relatives or friends stay for extended periods of time

We are confident in the maturity of members to discuss and determine whether these or other specific behaviors are hurtful to community living.

It is the responsibility of Notre Dame-AmeriCorps Members to act in ways which are respectful of others and which foster community.