Wanted — a person to help take care of an old monastery and to become part of a living community that creates safe spaces for people who live there.


We live in an old monastery in the city of Eindhoven built in 1883 and share the building with several other not-for-profit groups. We are a secular community but we are interested in philosophy, social justice, and ecology. The building is owned and managed by a Foundation which calls the community the oil in the machine’ of the monastery, but we prefer to think of it as the beating heart’.

The community is a registered Association (Vereniging) which has a rental contract with the Foundation (Stichting) which owns and maintains the building. Residents don’t have rental contracts but become aspirant members of the Association and pay a monthly membership contribution which represents a share of the outgoings of the Association. The amount of the contribution is between 300 and 400 monthly and is partially dependent on the number of square metres of space occupied by the resident.

We are looking for someone interested in becoming part of the present and future of a sustainable not-for-profit collective/community primarily engaged in creating and maintaining a space where permanent and temporary residents feel safe and cared for. This means actually being present (er zijn) more often than not, and helping take care of the building and its project/s. Since some of us combine working outside the house with living together as a community, there are differences in the relationships of individual residents to care/ response-ability but we are committed to equality and collectivity.


We are located in Eindhoven (Oud-Gestel) 15 minutes by bike or bus to Eindhoven CS and close to de Genneper Parken. The monastery is set in beautiful grounds with several gardens and lots of trees, away from the main road.

The communal spaces comprise a big kitchen, a living/dining room, a silent room (stiltekamer), cellar, huge loft, an internal and an external garden (moestuin) which are used and looked after by up to 11 temporary and permanent residents.

Each resident has their own living space in a beautiful old building with low rent in exchange for actively taking part in the life and work of the community. Four rooms are reserved for refugees with another seven rooms/living spaces for the permanent residents which vary in shape and form, mostly with communal bathrooms/toilets.

We are 6 to 7 people ranging in age from 25 to somewhere in their 60s’ from diverse backgrounds. What we have in common is a commitment to creating a community of care which is a space for refugees, ourselves, for each other and for ourselves.

Every permanent resident does one 24 hour shift every week and they act as a caretaker for the building during their shift. Since the maintenance of the building itself is taken care of by the Foundation which owns it, the caretaking duties required from residents are not especially onerous or physically demanding, principally consisting of being the point of contact, carrying the house phone, providing access to the building for relevant people, reading the gas, water, and electricity meters, testing of the fire alarm, mail distribution, waste management, and liaison with the other organisations in the building.

Additionally everyone shares in a range of other tasks and responsibilities that are part of taking care of the building and the grounds and the community, to ensure its future viability, sustainability and relevance.

Living here asks for commitment, energy and enthusiasm in thinking and talking together about how to continue to develop as a group, to learn to trust and be able to depend on each other.

We are open to people of any age, gender, background who do not have their own agenda, and/or who are not primarily concerned with their ego, and/or what would look good on their resumé or their Insta page. We may not be a real’ monastery anymore but we value humility, honesty, integrity and simplicity.


Sadly we are unable to be of use to people looking for a short term solution for their desperate housing situation — thus the long lead time and selection process, which could take another three months.

The selection process will culminate in one or two people being invited to come and live with us as aspirant members for a trial period, which can be extended, if it’s going well for both of us. After 12 months of living here people who decide to make a more long term commitment to the community are invited to become full members of the Association, with voting rights.

We are taking the summer off so we will not be able to respond to emails or be available to answer questions or provide further information until September and we are asking people to register their interest using this registration form

https://forms.gle/N3U9fXVA9t5vPsE99

Registration is open until 1-9-24 so time is not of the essence. First come is not first served. So take the time to think about what you want us to know about you, where you are in your life and whether you’d be ready to make such a radical change. How do you see yourself as being able to function in and contribute to such a community? What do you bring? What do you need?

In September we will compile a shortlist of people who have registered and who sound possible for us and get in touch with them.

❊ If you don’t want to log in to google to complete the registration form you are welcome to use the regular contact form

https://forms.gle/SjbZLdJ5sVrgcyFX8

This general contact from doesn’t require you to login, but if you make a mistake in the email field we won’t be able to contact you (and : you won’t be able to request a copy of your registration to be sent to you, or save a draft before submitting, or edit your response after sending it, or upload any documents).

   

https://hoogstraatgemeenschap.info/help