Saturday, March 7, 2009

Community Living...what makes it work

Here are the things that we have found need to be in place for community living to work in the most healthy way:
  1. The right people. There are some people that you know you could just not live with. Don't, then! In fact, I think it is the rare relationships that DO work. Make sure that you only live with people that have somewhat similar lifestyle choices and that have some integrity. Without that, good luck!
  2. Talk about the fight before the fight not during the fight. Recognize what may be a tension in the future and plan for it. Name your concerns and address them before they are riddled with emotion in the heat of the moment.
  3. Pay in! Each party in the community living situation needs to pay into the expenses of the home. It needs to feel fair to all of you. Figure out the percentage, the monthly charge, who will pay what utility or percentage thereof, what the deal will be with grocery bills, etc.
  4. Help out! The responsibilities around the pad need to shared or it can get really annoying.
  5. Develop a written and signed living/rental agreement. Allow it to speak to everything that seems important to each party...where you park, cable, internet, how having guests over will work, reevaluation period, etc.
  6. Meet regularly. Yes, an official and scheduled meeting to discuss what is going good and what is not going so good. Keep it real. Like: "When your friends come over with their loud children it can be very frustrating." OR "The fact that you all are not taking the trash out is killing me." If you cannot verbalize the things that frustrate you, you will start looking for ways to end the living situation.
Perhaps there are other things. Can you think of any? Leave a comment. Also, I would love to hear from anyone who is doing or has done this community living thing.


Anonymous said...

Offer grace as living together is often hard even with your true love. Be thankful for people that are willing to share expenses. Go the extra mile to bless them and make their lives easier.

Noah said...

Good additions. Good thoughts. Thanks!