The Midden

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A small yet established anti-authoritarian and egalitarian urban community

Click Here to view The Midden Image Gallery
phone: (614) 725-4333
(Please call between 12p-6p EST)
Contact: Mattie
email: [email protected]



We are a collective house in Columbus, OH creating a life together around shared principles, a wood stove, and much more!


A midden is an intriguing or marvelous rubbish heap. Packrats and octopi make middens—so do ocean currents and human civilizations. We call our house The Midden because we make use of the artifacts (groceries, furniture, shoes) thrown away or overlooked by mainstream society. And all the while, we’re using this stuff to build more whole and meaningful systems to provide for ourselves.

We also love to care for each other, share our skills and ideas, and do what we can to confront systems of oppression that bring us all down. We’re eco-activists, prison abolitionists, housing justice advocates, writers and theatre artists, adventurous human beings and more.


We believe in things like: doing it ourselves, anti-authoritarianism, using (and re-using) our resources responsibly, friends and hanging out, dumpstering, caring for each other and staying solid. You can read lots more on our website


Our agreements help us to build a life (and make a living) through things we enjoy. Some of these agreements include:

A labor-sharing system, where paid and unpaid work are equally valued

Sharing a certain degree of our income and expenses

Weekly house meetings, where we check in with each other and make decisions about house projects


The community started in 2008 with some folks living together on King Ave, and in 2010 we bought a house on Chittenden Avenue. We know our neighbors, are close to just about everything, and live very affordably.

We’re looking for new people to live here! If you’re interested in learning about how to become a member, or if you have any other questions, come stop by! Give us a call at (614) 725-4333 or send us an email at [email protected].

[Note that The Midden was called Community Autonomy earlier in its existence, so some of the older posts and documents on this site will still refer to them as such.]

Below are stories, blogs and articles on The Midden.

Occasional Update #13: August 2014

Occasional Update #13

August 2014

It’s been a pretty long stretch since our last update— and a fair amount of things have happened. We had a ridiculously cold winter that not only kept us inside, but kept the bugs at bay this summer (worth it?). Despite the frigid weather, we were able to run our wood stove hot without buying any wood (thanks scavenging, thanks networks of friends, thanks hard work). We’ve also seen above and beyond contributions to our labor budget—meaning that as the year rolls on, we’ll have even more freedom and flexibility. We’ve hosted potlucks, readings, music sharing, and celebrations. Birthdays have rolled by; bedrooms have been improved (lofts! painting! desks! cleaning!!!); meals have been shared; friends have visited—and time has passed.


{it was the kind of cold that means it took 20 min to get all the clothes on you needed to go play in the snow. brrrrr!}


Our house membership has shifted once again— Eric moved out a few months back, deciding to try to find something that was a better fit. We’re hoping he finds something that is just right. And about a month ago, Phil moved in! Phil grew up in Bowling Green, likes baking bread, and does a lot of theatrical performances around Columbus, including being part of a dance in Taking Place and playing piano in the upcoming community theater version of Hair. Not only have the people living here changed, but Cole and Molly also became full members of our community.

 Right now (summer).

Midden in pencil

Midden in pencil

The Midden

Provisional Membership - Community Autonomy - 2010

[Excerpt from Entrance Structure]

Community Autonomy