Chiara House: An Exciting Announcement
The following is the exciting new vision that we are beginning to pursue at Little Flowers Community. We need people to join us in making this happen. If you are interested, please drop me a line at email@example.com
Chiara House will be an extension of the ministry of Little Flowers Community & YWAM Urban Ministries Winnipeg. The values of these ministries shape & define the values & practices of Chiara House. While some core members will be part of these communities, such involvement will not be required of all those participating in Chiara House. It will not be a shelter, detox program, food bank, etc. Rather it is a group of people called to love God & their neighbours together in the context of shared life & community.
Chiara House residents will be represented in three general groups:
- Long Term Members
Long term members will be people with a commitment to specific Rule of Life and code of conduct, willing to commit to a specific time frame and function as servant-leaders in the community house. These members can include, but are the restricted to, member of Little Flowers Community/YWAM. All members will be employed outside of the house.
- Transitional Members
The house will also welcome short-term, goal-oriented transitional housing for locals facing specific challenges. These members will be drawn through relationship and/or referral from other ministries or social agencies. A clear & legal application process would be in place to screen applicants for appropriate fit in the program.
- Internship Members
A missional formation internship, with both short & long-term options, will also be made available, through the model of a missional-monastic order. These members will be primarily focused on young single adults, such as university students, who are seeking community and missional formation while studying, working, etc. in their own context.
(A clear Rule of Life will be articulated for long-term members, with an appropriate covenant commitment for interns, and a Code of Conduct for all residents.)
The nature of the building Chiara House ends up in inevitably shape the nature of the housing, but the following is a general overview of the ideal setting for such a community. Chiara House would ideally be set in a multi-storied (3+) building. Each floor would have controlled access.
On the main level would be a more open community space for shared programs, community gatherings, worship, training, etc. Ultimately it would be set up like a “community living room”, with access to public bathrooms, a kitchen and possibly a small hospitality room for short-term guests or emergency housing.
The second floor would be broken into group community units housing 4-6 people per unit. They would share access to the living room, dining room & bathrooms (expanded to accommodate larger numbers), but would have secured individual or roommates space for sleeping. These spaces would be designed for long-term members to share life with transitional housing members (ideally 50/50).
The third floor of the building would be designed similarly to second floor model, but would be dedicated to shared life with the missional formation members, with at least one long-term member as well. They would have relationship and shared activity with the transitional housing members, but due to the shorter-term nature of their involvement, would have to apply for living in that portion of the house.
Depending on the size of the building, every (or selected or one floor) could also have traditional apartment suites designed for families, allowing the security & space for family life, while allowing families to share life with the singles in Chiara House. The option of a family unit for transitional housing is also an option to consider.
Every member would contribute equally to the room & board of the community, though some members may be given a reduction for fulfilling certain duties (i.e caretaker, etc.). The long-term members, along with the Little Flowers Community/YWAM UMW leadership, will function as the servant-leadership team of Chiara House. However, whenever possible, all members will be encouraged to participate in shared responsibility & community leadership.