Each house, and BCL in general, is run democratically, and all members contribute their labor in order to keep housing costs affordable. We share responsibilities for household chores and administrative tasks involved in running the cooperative, We make decisions by consensus, typically by at least a 75% majority vote.
As a housing cooperative, we place great value on community. We share communal meals each night, and we have weekly house meetings. We throw parties, open mic nights, documentary/movie screenings, and other community events. We eat together, relax together, and support one another.
Perhaps most importantly, we are committed to fun and inspiration. We paint. We build. We sing. We dance. We watch movies. We ask about each others' days. We really care about the answer. All of this is what makes the cooperative not just a place to live, but it makes it a home.
Between our four houses, BCL consists of over 60 members from all aspects of the Bloomington community. Roughly a third of our members work around town, a third are graduate students, and a third are undergraduates. Our membership consists of individuals, couples, and families. We do not discriminate. We have an open membership policy: anyone who can commit to the expectations of membership is eligible to join.
At its core, BCL is about community. We have communal meals, house meetings, and cooperative events. We hang out together and support one another.
BCL is a place where people have made lifelong friends. We strive to make cooperative living more than just a place to eat and sleep.
Many members are drawn to BCL because it offers a space for “living consciously.” This means different things to different people, but in general, we strive to be intentional in how we relate to one another and to the world around us.
We work to be mindful of each other’s needs. We also challenge each other to recognize the social, environmental, economic, and political consequences of how we live.
Additionally, as an organization committed to creating a living environment that is safe and nourishing for everyone, we strive to implement social safety practices within the cooperative. We do not tolerate racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, or classism. We do our best to make BCL a space free from discrimination, harassment, and oppression.
Each house in the cooperative serves as a community space. We often host our own events, ranging from community potlucks to parties to Goodlawn's famous open mic nights.
We also share our resources in support of progressive endeavors outside of the cooperative. The houses host workshops, with topics ranging from building free libraries to dumpster diving. The cooperative has hosted events, meetings, documentary screenings, and get-togethers for a number of groups over the years.
BCL is one small part of a much larger cooperative movement that spans across the globe, stretching back generations. We’re proud to be part of a movement with a rich history of organizing, building, and creating a better, more equitable world and society.