Live at the Friends House

The Beacon Hill Friends House is looking for new members of our diverse community.

Online Application Form

Feel free to reach out to our Residency Manager with any questions: admissions@bhfh.org

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Beacon Hill Friends House operates a cooperative residence for people interested in community living. Since 1957, between 18 and 22 people each year have made a home here based on Quaker principles of faith, simplicity, integrity, community, and social responsibility. Residents work together to maintain the House, serve meals, and plan events. Mutual respect, honest communication, and enlivened engagement with our differences are hallmarks of our community.

There is no one word or phrase that neatly describes the people who live at the House. Some of us are students, some are full-time working people, and some are retired. Our fields include art, ministry, accounting, engineering, education, social justice, and many others. We come from a range of spiritual and non-spiritual traditions, but we have a common commitment to living together according to Quaker principles. A diversity of ages is welcomed. One or more international students often live at the House.

Residents are led to the House for many reasons: because they want to be near a Quaker meeting and live with other spiritual seekers; because they are excited by the challenge of cooperative living in a community with diverse individuals; because they have a concern for peace and social justice and want to be in a community supportive of their values.

Organization

The House offers residents a chance to live according to Quaker principles of self-government. The Board governs the House through several committees. Residents choose representatives to serve on most committees and to report to the Board as well. Decisions are reached in committee and Board meetings by the Quaker decision making process, which is similar to a consensus process.

All residents and staff are expected to attend a House meeting held twice monthly. At these meetings residents discuss all issues affecting life in the community from the sublime to the ridiculous. At House meeting, residents plan events (both social and educational) and discuss issues ranging from the use of alcohol to the ways we can improve our hospitality.

Committee in Rear Parlor

Resident Responsibilities

In addition to attending House Meeting, residents are expected to help once a week with serving and cleaning up after meals, to complete assigned household chores, to serve on house committees, and to participate in spring and fall work days and retreats. Residents are also encouraged to help plan and attend community events, to help out in emergencies, and to make the Friends House a hospitable place for our many visitors.

Cook in the Kitchen

Food at the Friends House

The House provides simple, nutritious food for residents. The kitchen manager (who is also a resident) does grocery shopping so that food is available for residents to cook their own breakfast and lunch. The kitchen manager prepares a vegetarian meal five nights each week, with a meat option about once a week. Although we do change our menu and shopping lists based on the desires of each group of residents, we are not able to accommodate every special request. We provide limited storage space for residents who purchase special food items of their own.

A shared dinner, served every night but Friday and Saturday, is an important part of community life. No one is expected to be at every dinner, but applicants who anticipate having a schedule which would keep them away from dinner more than two nights a week should discuss that during the interview.

Resident Handbook

It is difficult to capture the essence of community in action through mere words. The spirit and atmosphere of such a living experience can only be understood by participating in the life of the group. A more complete picture of the expectations and rules for life at Beacon Hill Friends House may be obtained by reading the Resident Handbook. The contents of the Handbook are constantly being modified to reflect the changes in the individuals and society over the years. For a link to the current version of the Handbook, click here.

Application for Residency

Beacon Hill Friends House promotes diversity in many forms, including but not limited to age, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, gender, sexual preference or orientation, gender identity, relationship status, and (dis)ability.

Anyone interested in living at BHFH should contact the Residency Manager at admissions@bhfh.org to request an application packet. Because our application process does take some time and demand for space is often high, we suggest applying two months in advance. Many openings occur at the end of May and the end of August, but spaces are often available at other times. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to write, or to give us a call at (617) 227-9118. We look forward to hearing from you!

Residents enjoy a film in the courtyard