Jerusalem Farm offers positions to live and work in the community

Layne Stracener
Editorial Assistant
Northeast News

Jerusalem Farm is looking for a community companion, sojourner, and house manager to live and work in the community.

Jerusalem Farm is a Catholic community in the Northeast whose mission is to transform people’s lives through service, retreat experiences, sustainable living, and home repair.

Project Director Jordan Schiele said these positions will begin whenever the Jerusalem Farm members find the right applicants for the positions.

The community companion will act as a social worker in the community for a year. They will build relationships with community members and connect them to resources.

For example, people often come to Jerusalem Farm seeking help for addictions, said Schiele. He also gave an example of a woman whose home the Jerusalem Farm members were fixing. She needed to find a way to pay her water bill, so they helped her access resources. However, it is more impactful for tasks like this to be assigned to one dedicated person, Schiele said.

“Having a trusted community companion who can walk them through the steps as opposed to giving them a name and number and saying ‘good luck’ has a bigger impact,” Schiele said. “Life is complicated. People have lots of needs, so it helps us and our mission.”

A social work degree is not required to be a community companion. Schiele said it is not a typical social work position, because there is more to the job than just the work.

“We live together, we share our work, and we share our meals,” Schiele said. “We’re looking for someone that wants to live in a Christian community and live intentionally and be open to building relationships and connecting people to resources.”

The house manager will be a permanent position. The responsibilities include practicing hospitality and helping with retreats by planning the meals, cooking from scratch and teaching the volunteers how to cook.

The sojourner will be a volunteer responsible for assisting in the daily chores and tasks of Jerusalem Farm for one to six months. They will also be considered retreat leaders and mentors while volunteers enter the community for week-long service retreats.

Jerusalem Farm provides food and housing to community members who work there. Community members, if applicable, can also receive a healthcare stipend, childcare stipend and forgiveness stipend which accounts for various needs such as student loans.

The community companion will receive a stipend of $125 a month. The house manager will receive a stipend that starts at $125 a month. After a year and a half, it increases to $250 a month. After three years, it doubles again to $500 a month. About half the funds come from volunteers who pay for retreats. The rest is from grants, individual donations and homeowners who pay for cost of materials for home repair.

Schiele said being a member of Jerusalem Farm is a great opportunity because it’s fulfilling in many ways. The community looks past materialism and aims to live simple lives. It isn’t for someone looking for a job, Schiele said. It’s for someone looking for a life transformation.

“When you go beyond those material things that society sometimes says we need, I find that life is much more liberating and fulfilling,” Schiele said. “Just being part of a community with a common purpose and common mission is life-giving in and of itself, and when you work and do service for others, that is also very life-giving.”

For applications and more information, visit jerusalemfarm.org. Applications and questions can be emailed to community@jerusalemfarm.org.

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