Visitor Stays - EGFS - 1999

Shared by Emma Goldman Finishing School
Tags: Visits and Visitors, Behavioral Expectations

Emma Goldman Finishing School policy: Visitor stays.
Adopted 10/1998. Revised 6/20/99

*Note, we make a distinction between visitors and guests. Visitors are those persons who are not being hosted by a member, but by the community as a whole. Guests are friends of a member and are hosted by that member. See guest policy for more details.

Visitor Stay information

We at EGFS are interested in meeting a variety of people who are exploring intentional community and are seeking to create a culture rich in compassion, cooperation and peace. Here is information about how to schedule a visitor stay and what to expect.

How to schedule visitor stay at the Emma’s

Please do not drop in unannounced and expect to stay with us.
Contact us by letter, phone, or email and ask us to send you our informational packet of materials well in advance of when you are thinking of traveling to Seattle. This packet includes our brochure, vision statement, guiding principals and visitor stay information.
Share a bit of yourself with us by responding to the questions included in this packet and send it to us.
We will review the information you send us and if we are able to host you, we will have a visitor coordinator follow up with you.

Length of stay

We are happy to host visitors for up to three days when scheduled in advance. We try to schedule visitor stays in a way that meets your needs, meets the needs of the community and so that you will have a chance to interact with many of the members during the three days.

Expectations of visitors
We often have work to do around the house, and your help during your stay is appreciated. Work exchange during your visit is generally possible and encouraged, as it is a good way to interact with people here. We expect two hours of work a day for work exchange and would like to know in advance if you want this option. If you do not want to do work exchange, or if we are not able to schedule appropriate tasks during your visit, we ask that you contribute $10 per day to offset our expenses.

We also expect visitors to abide by the agreements we have made as a community about personal behavior. These agreements include:
No violence.
No smoking in the house.
No meat or fish in the house.
No illegal drug use on the property.
Respect members’ privacy and personal space.

Any member of EGFS can ask a visitor to leave at any point during their stay for any reason, notably for behavior a member deems threatening, disruptive, or inappropriate.

What Visitors can expect of us

A place to sleep and all meals
Reasonable accommodation of special needs
A chance to interact with many community members
A chance to read written materials about our agreements and policies and a chance to become familiar with the physical layout of the community.


Our membership process is slow and cautious, and we like it that way. We realize that this puts an extra burden on those traveling from a distance who want to explore membership, but we feel that the time and effort we put into the membership process is proportional to the level of commitment we expect of members. We do not want to shortchange our membership process for the sake of convenience.

After your initial visit with us, we will take time to discuss how your visit went. Then, if you wish, we can discuss the possibility of and plan your next visit. You can expect a week to pass between multi-day visits. During that time, we encourage you to arrange to stay with friends in the area, travel around and see the sights, stay in a hotel or youth hostel, camp at a campground or make arrangements to visit other communities in the area. It may be possible for you to come over for a dinner, work party, meeting, or other events while waiting for us to talk about your visit and schedule another. We like to be able to ease into a relationship with a prospective member, and having an extended “getting to know each other” phase, with breaks in between, helps keep the process at a comfortable pace.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

We want to know a bit about you before we invite you to visit. Please respond to the following questions. Feel free to include any other information you wish to give us and don’t forget to include complete contact information.

Describe yourself and your interest in intentional communities.
How did you hear about the EGFS and why would you like to visit?
What experience have you had with communities?
Do you have any special needs, dietary restrictions, medical information, interests, or skills we should take into consideration in planning your visit?
Do you wish to do work exchange while visiting? If so please list the skills you have which may be useful to us. Skills we often need include: Construction, carpentry, and renovation skills, cooking, cleaning, handy-person/fix-it skills, some seasonal yard and gardening work.
Describe the timing, flexibility and circumstances of your visit. Would you be making a special trip to Seattle for the sole purpose of visiting us, or are you trying to combine a visit with other interests in the area? Must your visit happen during a certain time?
Please include the name and contact information of a person you can list as a reference. If you are traveling around visiting other communities, you can also list people to contact at other communities where you have visited.

Please send or email your responses to us and expect it to take a couple of weeks before we can schedule your visit. We will contact you when we have discussed your visit.

Emma Goldman Finishing School
1309 13th Ave. S.
Seattle, WA 98144
(206) 324-6822
[email protected]