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Finding and Living in an Intentional Community

Updated on June 22, 2014

Looking For An Intentional Community

Communities are where people live their lives. Some want a place where they can have interaction with others on a level that does not necessarily entail money. They want to capture the real meaning of the word community. A good quality of life is sort after and a more livable neighborhood type environment. This might mean different things to different people. They might seek out a community that will encompass what they are looking for. An intentional community (IC) can be focused on living close to nature, or living with people who have similar religious beliefs, similar ethnic background or who are a similar age. Communes, earthship communities, retirement communities are just a few of the examples of ICs.

The idea is to deal locally. Since it is a focused community it is easier to support the endeavors of their neighbors. They can buy local goods, support local businesses and interact with others who would be somewhat like minded.

Planned Communities

Intentional communities are planned communities that are set up usually for a purpose other than profit. The purpose may be vague or very specific. There are many communities that are planned, rather than just springing up by a water source and expanding. They are built from plans that incorporate different areas like shopping and recreation. These are not necessarily IC's because the bottom line for them is to make money from the homes or units and the added amenities. The added golf courses, swimming pools and gyms bring more of the clients money to the planner/owner of the property. Therefore the purpose is essentially a business model. What can happen is more methods will be used to extract money from those living within the community. Stores will be screened for the sake of profit rather than the good of the neighborhood and fees will pop up everywhere.

Intentional communities are put together for more people oriented reasons, even though solvency has to be a consideration if it is to continue. Some of the reasons could be a more natural lifestyle, family focused, self-reliant or a religious lifestyle. There are different types that fall under this umbrella. The most obvious would be communes but others include co-housing, urban cooperatives and collectives.

Places for Seniors

One type of intentional community is senior housing. Nursing homes are sometimes cited as a form of community housing. The thing with them is that most are a form people would prefer not to sample. Elders want options besides that. One nursing home option is the Eden or Green House concept. Another option would be assisted living facilities. Money, of course is a big factor. Medicaid is sometimes not accepted. Now there are many other options to chose from that require various levels of income.

We are familiar with senior communities that have spread to different areas. To live in them you must follow their rules. Many want to age in place which means you don't move. If you live in an apartment building with a large elderly population it could become a NORC.The meaning of this is Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities. Services through one or more organizations are offered. Similarly would be the Village Network. You stay in your own home and get together with others to get discounted senior services from screened agencies

Any of the other intentional communities could be geared towards a senior population. Cohousing, cruise ships, hotels and RV parks can offer ammenities that would benefit seniors.

Hope Meadows

Different Forms of Communities on Videos


Cohousing is a type of community when a group of people chose to live in some part together. Some live in a single house where others live in separate housing and share tasks like cooking, cleaning and babysitting. There might be common outdoor space where children play or gardening takes place. Eating might be done together and a common recreation room and sitting room for everyone to enjoy. Some are for families others maybe for seniors. They might have written rules and regulations to live by and are democratically run. Household chores either might be rotated or divided according to ability and skill.

Places With Specialized Interests

A community can be established with any interest in mind. There are artists communities, musician villages, RV parks and others. Communities dedicated to building earthships and living sustainable are in the southwest. A Musician village has been established in New Orleans. Seattle and other areas are noted for their houseboats and people live on sailboats and cruise ships.

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