Visiting East Wind
Thank you for your interest in our home! We encourage individuality and diversity in our members, and are always interested in meeting new people who share our communal and egalitarian values. We seek individuals who are community-minded, hardworking, and self-motivated. If East Wind sounds like the place for you, please get in touch with us about arranging a visit. Contact us first at email@example.com, as dropping in unannounced is not accepted. After the completion of a visitor period, individuals desiring to make East Wind their home may pursue membership.
Visitor periods begin the first Monday of every month (except December), and last for three weeks. During this time, a visitor is expected to work a full labor quota (currently 35 hours a week), attend orientations, and participate in community. Getting to know East Wind is just as important as East Wind getting to know you, so it is vital that visitors are willing to get out and get involved. Shorter visits can be arranged, but membership can only be considered after the completion of the standard three weeks. We ask that potential visitors do not just ‘drop in’. We have a relatively large population, and because of space constraints, we need to coordinate how many people we have visiting at any one time. A drop in will be turned away and asked to contact membership to schedule a visitor period.
Individuals on a visitor period are usually housed with other visitors of the same gender for the duration of their three-week visit. Couples and friends may work out alternative sleeping situations, and camping is always welcome. Most visitors find these arrangements agreeable, and take the opportunity to develop camaraderie with fellow visitors. Women may stay in a spacious shared room in one of our larger dorms, Annares. The space is called Sunburst, is non-smoking, and encompasses six beds. The men’s visitor space is a small building located in the center of community, and includes five beds. These spaces are not luxurious, but most visitors find them suitable during their first three weeks.
It is important to remember that a visitor period is not a guarantee of membership, so when you visit you should have a backup plan that will enable you to leave at end of the three weeks if necessary. Please make arrangements to have your pets cared for while you are visiting. We do not make exceptions to this rule. You may be able to bring your pets to East Wind once you become a member, but this is not a guarantee as there are a limited number of pet spaces.
One of the most important things to understand before arriving is that life at East Wind is very different from life in mainstream society. The fewer preconceptions a person has before visiting, the easier it will be to adjust to our lifestyle. Please note that we do not use flush toilets. We have a system for reducing our water use and ecological footprint by composting our solid waste.
Please contact membership via email if you are not interested in a three-week visitor period, but would still like to come see East Wind. Individuals desiring shorter visits (even for just a day or two) can contact membership to arrange a guest stay. Other types of visitors, such as interns and WWOOFers, may also be accommodated. Note that you must complete the standard three-week visitor period to be considered for membership.
If you are interested in visiting, please read the information below to help you through the process. Don't forget to explore the whole web site, and feel free to email our membership team with any questions you may have that have not been answered here.
Applying for a Visitor Period
How to Apply
Visiting East Wind is arranged through email correspondence rather than over the phone. If interested in visiting, you must write us a letter of introduction according to the instructions below. Indicate your first, second, and third choices of visitor periods (keeping in mind that they begin the first Monday of every month except December and last for three weeks). The best way to guarantee the visitor session you want is to write well in advance. You can send your Letter of Introduction by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or postal mail (email is faster and easier for us), to: Memership, East Wind Community, 1361 County Rd 547, Tecumseh, MO, 65760.
The sending of this letter does not guarantee a spot on the visitor period, but serves to open communication between our membership team and yourself. With the exception of small children, all individuals (whether couples, groups of friends, or families) must each write their own letter of introduction. Please send only plain text emails and use ‘letter of introduction’ and your name as the subject of the initial email. Please do not include email attachments. If you would like a shorter stay or a stay of a different natures (internships, WWOOFing, etc), please include this in the subject of your email. After we receive your letter, our membership team will be in contact with you about setting up a visitor period. We receive many emails daily, so please be patient when waiting for a reply.
If you are a family applying for membership, your message will be passed along to the Child Branch. Please find more information on our Child Branch below.
If you are under 18, East Wind requires legal consent from a parent or guardian in order for you to visit.
The Letter Of Introduction
To apply for our visitor program, please email an introductory letter telling us about yourself. This is the community's opportunity to get to know you a little before we invite you into our home. The Letter of Introduction should be about 1-2 pages (if it's too short, we won't be able to get a good sense of who you are).
Please answer the following questions. Take the time to add as much detail and personality as you would like as these questionnaires will be posted for current community members to read.
- What is your full legal name as well as nickname if you would prefer?
- What is your current age and birth date?
- What is your gender or what gender do you identify with?
- Do you have any children or are you currently married?
- Do you currently have any pets?
- What are the work or studies in which you are presently involved?
- Please give a detailed description of your work history.
- Please give a detailed description of your hobbies and interests.
- How is it that you came to learn about East Wind?
- What is your current permanent address?
- Please give a phone number you can be reached prior to your visit as well as an emergency contact information Please include this persons full name, postal address, email address(‘s) and most importantly 24-hour phone number(s) of a relative or friend whom we could contact in case of an emergency during your visit (if you're from outside of North America, please include a US or Canadian contact as well, if you can.)
- Have you taken the time to review our website? www.eastwind.org
- Why you are interested in visiting community, and why East Wind in particular?
- How do your values compare and contrast to those of East Wind?
- What would you consider the frequency of your alcohol & drug use?
- Have you ever participated in a drug program or been admitted to a treatment center? If yes, for what?
- Do you have any special skill set that would be beneficial while at East Wind
- Would you be willing to participate in work activities that are new to you even if you did not enjoy them very much?
- Do you find it difficult to stay self motivated in a work setting?
- From day one you are accountable for 5 hours of labor and for everyday you are at East Wind. Do you feel like you will have the ability to jump right in?
- What would you consider to be your overall temperament and disposition.
- How often do you find yourself being angry or depressed?
- How often would you say that your mood effects your ability to work or socialize with your peers?
- Are you interested in full membership at East Wind?
- Do you have any pets? If yes to this, are you willing to find new homes for them if asked by community?
- Do you have any children?
- Do you have any experience working or living with small children?
- Do you have any health problems currently that would make manual labor difficult?
- Do you have any specific dietary needs?
- Do you have any kind of allergies to your knowledge?
- Are you currently prescribed any prescription drugs? If yes, please list them.
- Do you regularly take any other over the counter medication? If yes please list them.
- Do you have any outstanding debt?
- Have you ever been arrested? If yes, please describe in detail your criminal record.
- Have you ever spent time in a detox county jail, or prison? If yes, for how long?
- Do you receive any outside income i.e. social security, disability, child support, pension plan etc?
- Would you be comfortable turning over said income to community for the duration of your membership after becoming a full member?
- What is your first, second, and third choice of visitor session (they begin the 1st Monday of the month) Please feel free to add any additional things you think we should know about yourself or your situation.
All letters of introduction are publicly posted for the community to read. This is our way to learn a little about some of the people we will be sharing our home with before their arrival. When you arrive, individuals with similar interests and hobbies may already be looking forward to meeting you.
East Wind does accept new members with children, but only when there is child space available. Unfortunately, child space is very limited and often unavailable to visitors. Families with children must complete a two-week guest stay before being invited to do a three-week visitor period, and must make arrangements with the Child Board. Please email email@example.com with some information about your family, including how many children and their ages. Use Child Branch and a family name as the subject of your email.
What to Bring
It is okay to pack lightly on your visit to East Wind, as the community is able to provide for all of the necessities of our members and visitors (including food, clothing, bedding, toiletries, etc). Most of our communal clothing and bedding was destroyed in a December 2011 fire, so those visiting during the winter of 2011 may want to bring extra items. Some items you may want to (but don’t need to) bring include: - clothing and footwear for outdoor work, including rain gear - a pillow (if you are picky) - specific food items you will want during your stay (chocolate,special coffee, etc.) - camping gear, if you prefer to camp
Some items that you may need that are not provided by community include: - enough money to leave if necessary (it is a $52 ride to Springfield) - identification (photo ID and social security card); we make a photocopy for our records - any prescription medications you are on (enough to last your stay here) - a flashlight
What NOT to Bring
- Weapons of any kind
- Pets (pets are NOT allowed on your visitor period)
- Friends or anyone not scheduled on the visitor program
Visitors participate in the work around community just like any other member. Quota is currently set at 35 hours per week. East Winders schedule orientations on to help visitors learn about the types of work we do here and to relay important information visitors may need to know. Members are usually more than happy to help visitors find work they enjoy, but it is up to you to seek out labor and contribute to the community in whatever ways you can. There is always more than enough to do, but you must be self-motivated to succeed here.
Once You’ve Arrived
Upon arriving, please ask for somebody on the membership team to show you around. Please inform membership of when you intend to arrive, especially if you will be arriving during the night. If the membership team is unavailable, feel free to ask the first friendly face you see. Dinner is served daily and is signaled by a bell; don’t be afraid to go straight to dinner after your arrival.
Please do not use your cell phone in a public common space, as this is considered rude by most East Winders. In keeping with our egalitarian mission, visitors are encouraged not to use their vehicles during their visit, but are welcome to use our town-trip system or carpool instead. Although it is entirely possible to complete 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, tobacco, etc). We ask that you not spend more than $100 during these three weeks since the personal allowance at East Wind is $150 per month. Community will not provide allowance to new members until they have been here for two months. Don’t be afraid to ask questions during your visit. Keep in mind that everyone holds different opinions and you may have to ask several people to find the information that you are looking for. There are as many opinions as there are East Winders; you may wish to take everything with a grain of salt until you get to know the community and the people well. All visitors are subject to a concerns process, and may be asked to leave at anytime during their first three weeks if a percentage of the current members requests this. Problems do occasionally arise, but most friendly, considerate, and hardworking visitors are accepted and warmly welcomed into our community.
Some abbreviations you will want to know:
- RB – Rock Bottom (our dining facility)
- Co – A gender neutral pronoun
- Oreo – Visitor orientation
- HTA - Washing dishes or cleaning the kitchen (each member must do two hours of HTA per week)
- DF - Discretionary fund (the personal funds you receive as a member)
- A/R - An account you can open and deposit funds into dring your visitor period (to use the Town Trip system)
- IQ – Our ‘industrial quota’: the set number of hours per week a member must work in our business