Chosen Family and Community Living


Just Google the phrase “Chosen Family” and you’ll be presented with countless articles and resources about the concept. In its most basic form the idea of chosen family is made up of unrelated individuals who function just like any nuclear and extended family.

Have you ever had a best friend you referred to her as your sister?

She was your chosen family.

Some of the reasons people develop close bonds with unrelated friends is because of a deficiency in their own true blood relationships. Maybe they don’t get along with their parents or siblings. In this case a chosen family made up of very close friends acts a surrogate for the relationships with their family. It isn’t a substitute, it is a full replacement. There are lots of other reasons too. The days of spending your entire life in one space are long gone. Distance can keep you from your biological family. Your children, siblings or parents may live in another city or anywhere else in the world. Chosen family provides the same type of support system.

In the context of community building a chosen family may play an important role. Yes, you can certainly create and live in a community with individuals you consider close friends or even just housemates that come and go over time, but the bond of a chosen family can create an entirely different experience.

Multi-generational housing is becoming a popular choice again for many people. The younger generation is helping their parents and grandparents as they age. But what if you’re someone estranged from your biologically family? That doesn’t mean you have to be left out of community.

Maybe you already have a chosen family and don’t know it. Let’s look at some signs.

  • A best friend who knows all your secrets.
  • A support network that you can call on when you’re in need.
  • People you would drop everything to help.
  • You can’t go a day without talking to this person.

What if this was all you needed to start a community? Sure, it isn’t as simple as all that. There are many steps between identifying individuals with whom you would want to share a living situation moving in, but it is a start.

Who is your chosen family? Would they be someone you would consider living with in a community situation? Answer in the comments or join the conversation on Facebook!

To learn more about the process of finding or starting a community of your own read Your Quest for Home!

Women For Living in Community