At 860 Fell Street, in the heart of San Francisco, a French Victorian mansion called Chateau Ubuntu houses an “intentional community” of 38 warmhearted roommates. The residents hail from all different backgrounds but share a common ethos, aiming to discover the best qualities of humanity through cohabitation and close interaction with one another.
Aside from providing ten bedrooms, the mansion serves as a space for homemade group meals, musical concerts, and other social and community projects, which include everything from yoga to Pictionary to fire baton twirling. The most popular group activity, however, just might be hugging: Chateau Ubuntu estimates that 1,330 hugs are doled out between its members every week.
Besides believing in the benefit of a good squeeze, the kindred spirits uphold gratitude as their ultimate value, believing it “leads to both happiness as well as love, which is both the foundation for, and the highest expression of our community.” They also abide by guidelines called the PACTS, an acronym that stands for patience and participation, awesomeness, collaboration, transformative experiences, and sustainability. This moral code is meant to allow the members to express themselves and live authentically.
If this sort of communal living sounds up your alley, you're in luck! There’s space in the Chateau for a new roommate, but those looking to join the fun and companionship are required to complete a detailed application, with questions asking what the potential members would bring to the rest of the group, what three topics they’d choose to lead dinnertime conversations, what special qualities and quirks make them most awesome, and more. If you think you fit the bill—and if you have the hugging skills to prove it—you can apply here.
All images via Chateau Ubuntu.