­
Twin Oaks Intentional Community
Subscribe to the Leaves of Twin Oaks newsletter.

The three week visit is a structured program designed to give the visitor some general education and experience in living at Twin Oaks. It is an opportunity for the visitor to consider membership and for the community to consider prospective new members. The visit is a prerequisite to applying for membership (although anyone is welcome to do a 3-week visit whether or not they are applying for membership), and visitors need to spend at least one month away from Twin Oaks at the end of their visitor period. The fee for the three-week visit is on a sliding scale of $50-$250. This is used to pay for outreach and to offset expenses of the visitor program. We strongly encourage people with significant financial resources to pay at/towards the high end of the scale. If you can't afford to pay at the low end of the scale, we can make arrangements for a reduced fee. The visitor learns about what it's like to live at Twin Oaks, including the financial, legal, health, labor and governmental structures at Twin Oaks.

Details

Work. The visitor takes part in the work of the community and is required to work 42 hours a week, just as members do. Visitors are assigned some work, and have some choice in the types of work they do. Members often invite visitors to work with them on specific projects in a variety of work areas, and interested and/or qualified visitors can often pick up jobs by speaking with the manager of the work area. There are some jobs requiring familiarity with Twin Oaks or specialized skills that visitors do not take part in.

Accommodations. Visitors are housed in our 6-bedroom, 2-bathroom visitor building. Depending on the size of the visitor group, you may be asked to share a room with one other visitor. Smoking is not allowed in the visitor building.  Your visitor group will meet together to determine quiet hours and cleanliness standards for your group.

Cultural Expectations. We're not Utopia yet, but Twin Oaks strives to center anti-oppression and social justice work amongst our membership. This work includes creating a racially just, feminist, and queer/trans- affirming culture. We acknowledge that Twin Oaks is a primarily white organization and seek to constantly evaluate our culture and create a place where people of color feel welcome and comfortable. We encourage women to do work that has traditionally been the domain of men and vice versa. We expect everyone to honor people's chosen names and gender pronouns. If you're unfamiliar with concepts such as white privilege, feminism, and transgender issues, we encourage you to do some of that work before applying for membership at Twin Oaks in order to become a better ally and support our values.

People-Of-Color Advocacy. The Racial Equity Team (RET) is available to advocate for POC visitors, guests or members in the case that this may be needed.

BIPOC Travel Fund. Twin Oaks provides a travel fund for BIPOC who participate in the Three Week Visitor Period. Please let us know if you are interested in using this fund.

Guests of Visitors. Members of Twin Oaks may invite friends or relatives as guests, but we ask that visitors not invite guests.

Pets. Visitors are not allowed to bring pets with them. Our Pet Policy allows a certain number of dogs and cats here, and the pets that we have are contingent on space being available in a compatible residence. Generally, new members do not bring their pets with them, but find someplace else for them to live. We do have a Waiting List for cats and dogs, but there are rarely openings. Pets are different from service animals. If you have a service animal, please contact us for further information.

Mental health needs. Although Twin Oaks commits to providing for the basic needs of our members, we are only able to provide a limited amount of care related to mental health needs. Basically you need to be able to function well within the work and interpersonal structures of Twin Oaks in order to be accepted for membership. Someone with a history of recent suicidal tendencies, serious substance abuse problems or major, unresolved emotional trauma may have difficulty adjusting to communal life here. In extreme cases, an individual may choose or be asked to leave.

Timing. For some people, their economic situation makes it impossible to participate in a traditional three-consecutive-week Visitor Period. In some cases we are able to arrange for someone to break up their visit in order to accommodate their work schedule, etc. Please email us if you have any questions about this.

Children. Twin Oaks does accept new members with children when there is child space available. Families visit longer than the standard three weeks, and must make arrangements with the Child Board. If you are a family interested in community living we also maintain a list of communities we are in contact with that are interested in having more children living at their communities. For more information please contact us by email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with "Visiting Family" in the subject line or contact us using our webform—put "Visiting Family" in the comments area of the webform.

Age Policy for Joining Twin Oaks. In the past Twin Oaks has had an age cap policy. We have abolished that policy, and people of all ages can participate in the membership process equally.

What To Bring The visitor building is well-stocked with bed linens, towels, and toiletries, including toothpaste, soap and shampoo. These are available for you to use during your visit. There will be laundry facilities available for you to use during your visit.

PLEASE DO BRING:

  • Clothing: for general everyday wear and also work clothing (which may get dirty)
  • In winter: heavy jacket, warm shoes and/or boots, long underwear and warm pajamas
  • In summer: lightweight clothing (we have a humid climate and no air conditioning!)
  • Footwear: including at least one set of closed-toe shoes or boots for work
  • Raincoat
  • Flashlight
  • Cash, check, or money order made out to Twin Oaks or Twin Oaks Community for your visitor fee (sliding scale $50 - $250), to be turned in on Saturday morning at the beginning of the Community Tour. We cannot process credit or debit cards.
  • A willingness to respect and abide by our norms, and to be open to the particulars of our alternative culture

YOU CAN BRING (IF YOU WANT A SPECIFIC KIND YOU LIKE) BUT WE ALSO PROVIDE:

  • Pillow
  • Shampoo
  • Toothpaste
  • Soap
  • However, please do not bring very strongly-scented body products, and do not bring perfume or cologne

YOU MAY WANT TO BRING:

  • Camera (can be used within our photography norms)
  • Cell phone (can be used within our cell phone norms)
  • Laptop
  • Musical Instrument (to play with the multitude of musicians we have here)

Please be aware when bringing valuables that none of our interior or exterior doors have locks. We have a pretty strong culture of trust, and almost never have problems, but we cannot guarantee the security of any valuables and the community does not take responsibility for any losses.

Although it is possible to do your entire visitor period without spending any money, you may wish to bring some money to buy things not ordinarily provided by the community (eg. junk food, coffee, etc). We ask that you not spend more than $75 during this time, as this would exceed the amount of personal spending money available to members, and will give you an idea of this aspect of living at Twin Oaks. Similarly, we also ask that you not drive your car during the visitor group, to experience not having a personal vehicle while living here.

­