Living in an intentional community can be a deeply rewarding experience. Many people are realizing the shortcomings of consumer culture and are searching for a better way to live. Living at East Wind offers the opportunity to be your own boss and pursue work that truly interests you, to develop a deeper connection with the natural world, to share your day-to-day life with an extended family of like-minded people, and to be a part of a movement to create a better quality of life for everyone in your community. East Wind isn’t the place for everyone, but some of our current members consider moving to community to be one of the best decisions of their lives. If we desire something better than ‘the American dream’ for ourselves and for future generations, we must develop alternatives and set an example for others to follow. So take some advice from Mohandas Gandhi and “be the change you want to see in the world.” That’s what East Winders do every single day. Leading an autonomous life is an incredibly empowering experience. You will certainly be amazed as your innate potential reveals itself.
Those interested in joining East Wind are welcome to inquire about arranging a visit. Contact us first at firstname.lastname@example.org, as dropping in unannounced is not accepted. After completing a three week visitor period, visitors can apply for either provisional membership at East Wind. Provisional membership is somewhat of a trial membership, and is a year-long process to becoming a full member. You can click here to read all legislation pertaining to membership and visitors.
East Wind is self-governed through direct democracy. All members and visitors are welcome to participate in our political processes and speak in community meetings. However, visitors and provisional members (those during their first year of membership) are not granted a full vote. All full members have an equal vote and equal access to utilize the established processes. Only full members can sign and pass petitions.
3-Week Visitor Period
Visitors applying for membership are expected to work 105 total labor hours (35 hours per week) in order to be eligible for provisional membership. You must also stay the full three weeks. If 15% of full members submit written concerns to membership that a visitor is incompatible with the community, a visitor will have 24 hours to leave the property. Examples would be severe behavior or communication problems, not doing fair share, or deliberately repudiating the bylaws.
When there are no rooms available, visitors transitioning to provisional members will be put on a wait list. When there is a gender imbalance, those of the minority genders will be given priority for rooms. When a room becomes available, the membership manager will inform the person at the top of the list – if that person is not able or ready to return at that time, they will go to the bottom of the list and the person next in line will be offered the space.
Provisional Member (PM) Leave
After successfully completing a visitor period, individuals may take up to one year of PM Leave before returning to begin their provisional membership, if the leave is taken within the first month of becoming a member. If leave is taken in the second month of membership, the leave may last up to one month. If the leave is taken at any other time during provisional membership, it can last up to two weeks.
A room can only be held for a PM on leave for up to 2 weeks.
3 Month Provisional Member
Provisional members receive a half vote in community ballots after three months of membership, and can vote on all issues except for those that deal with membership.
6 Month Provisional Member
After six months, provisional members are subject to a vote on continuing their provisional membership. This is a “no”-option only vote. If between 15-25% of full members vote no, a community discussion will be held, but the member will continue their membership. If more than 25% of full members vote no, a discussion will be held, followed by a second vote. The second vote is a simple majority vote, with full members able to vote both yes or no.
After one year, provisional members are subject to a vote on full membership—if they receive a simple majority of yes votes, they are awarded full membership, full medical coverage, and a full vote in future ballots. However, if they receive a majority of no votes, they will be asked to either extend their provisional membership by six months before undergoing a second vote or to leave community. If this sounds like a lot of pressure, please keep in mind that the overwhelming majority of membership votes are in favor of the new member. This process is designed primarily to keep out individuals who do not do their fair share of work or make current members feel uncomfortable or unsafe.
All full members are equal owners of our land, our businesses, and our assets. Full members can only be expelled from community by the action of two-thirds of full members through petition or vote. Expellable offenses include failure to do fair share, physical violence, theft, violating the community’s property and income codes, and deliberate attempts to destroy or disband the community. The decision to expel a member for these or other offenses is made by full members of the community on a case-by-case basis. Though problems do occasionally arise, we are usually able to resolve issues amongst ourselves and expulsion is extremely uncommon.
Associates spend at least 2 months of the year at East Wind, and at least 2 months off the farm. Only full members are eligible to switch to associate status. Individuals with associate status have no voting rights, but may still attend community meetings and share their opinions.
East Wind offers a home to those who want to help us in our mission to create a sustainable and egalitarian communal lifestyle. If these values are important to you, please consider visiting us in the Ozarks and getting involved.