The Live-In Community
“The only way to survive is by taking care of one another.”
– Grace Lee Boggs
Since the start, the Live-In Community of Haley House has brought together diverse, loving, and dedicated people who have offered to commit themselves fully to the daily mission of Haley House, while living together as an intentional community on the top floors of 23 Dartmouth Street. While managing the direct services of Haley House, volunteers commit to living together as a community, building deep connections with each other and our guests. Hospitality is key to the community’s way of life. We share friendship, space, and material goods that we have received through the generosity of others.
Joining the community is much more than a full time job. Living intentionally means not only serving the poor but being responsible to each other through weekly meetings, community meals, shared tasks, and a mindful approach to daily life. In our collective decision-making we utilize the consensus process and emphasize careful listening and mutual respect–values that we try to live out both in our personal lives and our work in the soup kitchen.
Living together takes courage. It means challenging each other with a deep respect for the learning process of each individual, while holding a safe space for positive growth. Community living also requires accountability to both those we serve and those who support us.
Joining the Live-In Community
Update (March 17, 2020): Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, we are not moving forward on applications to join the Live-In Community at this time, although we will accept applications for future consideration. View the Live-In flier here.
We ask that Live-In Community members commit to two years of full-time immersion in the community. Members of the community are provided room and board so that they can dedicate themselves to running the direct services of Haley House (Soup Kitchen, Elder Meal, Food Pantry, etc.), as well as to intentional community living (sharing work, meals, reflection, and daily life). The community is typically made up of 6-8 people from a variety of ethnic, religious, and educational backgrounds. Being part of the Live-In Community is truly a transformative experience. Scroll below for some answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).
If you are interested in joining the Live-In Community, please submit the following materials:
• Completed online application
• Two letters of reference
• Current resume
After completing the online application, please submit your references and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you prefer, you may download an application form and mail your materials to:
Live-in Community Application
23 Dartmouth Street
Boston, MA, 02116
Haley House Live-In FAQ
What happens after submitting an application to the live-in community?
The community may reach out to schedule a phone or video conversation with applicants following the submission of all application materials. If the community feels that an applicant is a good fit after reviewing their application, they are invited for a two-week stay. This trial stay is a holistic introduction to the soup kitchen programs, the living arrangements of the house, and the community lifestyle, and it also provides applicants an opportunity to explore the surrounding city. After a two-week stay, the applicant moves out of the community for a week of discernment. During this time, the applicant and the community each reflect on their experiences together and determine if the applicant is a good fit for the two-year commitment. After the week, the community reaches out to the applicant with their final decision.
Applicants are encouraged to submit their application materials as soon as they are ready. Please note, the community does not extend invitations for two-week stays more than three months in advance of an applicant’s projected move-in date.
What is the work commitment while living at Haley House?
In return for 20-25 hours of work in and supporting the Soup Kitchen, room and board is provided. Food is allocated through our Soup Kitchen, unless you have very particular dietary concerns. Community members attend weekly meetings to discuss community and business matters and gather for a weekly community dinner. Members take on additional side projects and chores while at Haley House.
Can I maintain paid work or go to school while at Haley House?
Some people want or need part-time jobs or are taking a few classes during their live-in experience. Outside work and continuing education is possible with the right time management and communication with the community, but we view our commitment to the community and soup kitchen as our first priority. Stipend work may be available depending on your skill set, interests, and the current availability of positions in the community.
Does the community have a religious background?
The Live-In Community welcomes all faith backgrounds, but we do not have a structured religious setting.
How does the Live-In Community connect with the larger South End community?
Community connectivity is the most important component of our work. We encourage participation in South End community events throughout the year, communication with our neighbors, and inviting friends, family, Soup Kitchen guests, and others to our weekly community dinner.
What are the main responsibilities in the Soup Kitchen?
Our kitchen operates six days per week, and each live-in member acts as a facilitator of the breakfast shift. Some duties include volunteer management and supervision, kitchen safety and health code, and facilitating an environment of respect and peace in the kitchen. These skills are learned by new members and are not a prerequisite to entering the community.