“Community process—it’s all magic and chaos.”
– Khadija, Emerald Village resident
SquareOne builds democratic communities in which each person has a voice in shaping how their community is operated and managed—creating a foundational sense of ownership on which the village thrives.
Our mission is to create self-managed communities of cost-effective tiny homes and people often wonder, “what does self-managed mean?” In both our transitional model (Opportunity Village) and permanent model (Emerald Village), residents agree to help with specific tasks in maintaining the village, attend village meetings and engage in community process.
At village meetings (held weekly for Opportunity Village and monthly for Emerald Village), decisions are made and issues are addressed by the residents themselves (with some staff support). Community process isn’t a skill most of us learn in our lives. It can be very challenging but can give people a sense of ownership and belonging while helping them develop a very useful skill.
At Emerald Village (and eventually at Cottage Village), each resident also serves on one of 4 committees that runs the housing co-op — administration (elected officers), membership, house and grounds or outreach. Generally the committees meet weekly, so you can imagine there’s a lot of group process to navigate! As EVE resident Charlotte puts it, “it’s like I’m part of a big puzzle and I feel like I can contribute a lot.”
Although the process for bringing in new members differs quite a bit between our two villages, it’s always their decision on who joins their community. When a new resident is being considered, they come to a village-wide interview and the residents ensure the individual understands this isn’t simply a cheap place to live, it’s a community.