cooperative house in madison, wi
syntropy : the psychological state of wholesome association with others
Syntropy is a 3-story, 8-bedroom, 1.5-bathroom arts-and-crafts style house on the near east side of Madison, one block from B.B. Clark beach.
Our house features hardwood floors, a wood burning stove, a lovely front porch with a swing and couches, beautiful stained glass, a vegetable garden, an old carriage house, off-street parking, a covered space for bikes, and a view of Lake Monona from our bay window and front porch. The bus stop for the 3, 4, 7, 10, and 38 is right out front.
We try to keep our home fragrance-free and cop-free. We often have cats living in the home and we are unfortunately not wheelchair-accessible.
history & organizational structure
Syntropy House was built in 1909 and served as a private residence for seventy years. In 1979, 812 Jenifer Street became a Sufi Group House. The house was purchased by Madison Community Cooperative (MCC) in 1983 (read more about the history of housing co-ops in Madison). Members have been paying rent to MCC, participating in meetings, and advocating for change within the system. Syntropy was on Rent Strike (read more here) for about five years, in protest of inequities perpetuated by the organization. In 2020, we went off Rent Strike and are focusing our efforts on pursuing autonomy from MCC (read more here).
Syntropy operates as a non-hierarchical space. We rotate some jobs, such as cleaning the bathroom and cooking meals for each other, and choose other workjobs for ourselves. We have house meetings approximately twice a month, where we can check in with each other about any praises, preferences, or discussion items. During COVID-19, we have been practicing caution outside of our home, so that we can feel comfortable and safe when we're together inside.
Currently, members contribute $115* towards shared food, which is enough for all meals. Our house meals are vegan and we usually try to include a gluten-free option.
*Members may be able to substitute dumpster diving or farmshares in lieu of this cost
highlights of our home culture
Love, care, and support for one another
A safe living environment - NO COPS
Mostly vegan, often gluten-free meals
Explicitly anti-racist, queer-friendly, pro-kids
We often bake treats for one another, read books around the fire, work on handy projects, and sit on the front porch drinking tea or coffee
We strive to be a home that creates space for people to contribute in the ways that feel best to them.
We recognize that there are a lot of ways to say ‘I love you’ (doing dishes, coordinating house events, cooking meals, deep listening and conversation, to name just a few) and we hope to cultivate a synergistic (😉) environment where members flourish *and* the work of living intentionally gets done.
A Signal thread that basically just has cat photos
from our instagram account
Check out Syntropy in Color, published 2021
live at syntropy
Want to stop by? We'd love to meet you; we just ask that you please make arrangements ahead of time. We have weekly house meals, host occasional community events, and sometimes welcome short-term overnight guests. Please send us an email about yourself if you're interested.
We welcome folks to join us as food-coopers. You would join us for fresh cooked, vegan meals throughout the month, and maybe do some cooking too! This is a great way to be part of our community while having your own space!
Becoming a food co-opper requires a "membershipping" process. Send us an email to find out more.
*we are currently not accepting food co-oppers due to COVID-19*
Availability at Syntropy varies, and we welcome your inquiry at any time. We are a cozy house committed to one another and to the world we live in, and we are excited to find more like-minded, like-hearted folks.
Becoming a full housing member of Syntropy is a multi-step process, including an online survey and some face-to-face interviews/meet-ups. Send us an email to get started or find out more.