What is the Mutanthouse project?
Mutanthouse is an urban Green VEGAN Self Sustainable Micro Community and Animal Sanctuary In the making – quite a mouthful there eh 😉
The idea came me (Alex) in 2010 after being unemployed for two years. Funds where getting low and I realised that something had to happen if I wanted to change my worsening circumstances. Jobs in my Area are not easy to find and my budding health issues made the margin even smaller. Moving was not an option I owned the property I live on and I knew that even if I was willing to sell it was not likely to find a rental who would allow all my rescue furries to go with me; besides I am really bonded with the property and its plant life and wanted to protect it from the greedy developers who have been buying up properties in this neighbourhood.
Although this neighbourhood is poor and depressed it had some wonderful old houses that these people just ploughed down including 100 year old trees and abundant plant life, just to replace it with cheap, ugly plastic houses that they can rent out to section 8 recipients. I swore that I was not going to let that happen to my trees I just can’t.I will not lie the house I am living in at this point is in a rude state of disrepair. Busted pluming and other disasters over the last 4 years have taken its toll and the finds coming in barely foot the bill for Mortgage and electricity. I needed to come up with something.
What to do?
I realised that I was not the only one struggling, the economy has hit so many people and many are suffering. Some have it worse than I; they lost their homes and have nowhere to go or are facing the loss of home. The rise in living costs makes it hard to make ends meet and jobs are not easy to get by and pay less than they did only 5 years ago. What if? – I thought. What if I created a communal living space that would raise life quality for all residents involved? Working together and pooling resources would definitely make life easier and we could accomplish a lot more then each of us could do on our own. I wanted this space to incorporate the things that where important to me the environment, animal welfare, Art, good food and education. This was the seed of Mutanthouse.
Mutanthouse the Plan:
Society’s one family, white picket fence style living model has become hopelessly outdated in a world where one family alone often cannot financially survive. Some of us have recognised that this planet can only be saved if we all pull together on a global scale. Of late many scientists have issued warnings about global warming caused by diets consisting of animal products; if there will be an awaking in within the general population and any follow-through on realisation who knows? Humanity has a lot of nasty habits and does not like to relinquish them easily. Our death grip on fossil fuels, our tendency to waste resources and to choose profit over ethics, are patterns that seem hard to break. Sadly as individuals we cannot control the outcome. What we can control is our individual impact and behaviour.
This is why Green sustainable culture is part of the Mutanthouse directive. The end Goal is to create a functioning Micro community in harmony with the carrying capacity of the earth, Animal welfare, holistic education, community outreach and ethical technological advancement. It has become vastly clear that our current living and society models are failing. We – earth’s population are living unhealthy lives in hostile environments. If we as a race are to survive we need to undergo extensive social therapy. We need adopt new and better lifestyle models and become the change we are looking for. Worst case scenario we will have a safe haven to live in when things get really bad, best case we inspire people to do the same and things might change on this planet.
The name Mutanthouse came from the mental image I had of the project. An in itself organically growing self-sustaining eco-Earthship-tree-house-container –whatever you can dream up hybrid living space, with gardens , its own radio station and workshops, playgrounds for animals and children, a natural swimming pool and anything one ever could dream of. The ideas will keep evolving and will transform organically as others join the project, and if we are successful we might have to add on to the land and expand.
Right now we are looking into non profit status so that we can protect the land and what we are building from potential squabbling or members, or unexpected fatalities. We are also looking into rezoning to allow for community work on the premises. These however are not finished ideas but pondering points.
I Alex am an artist and a musician,I believe that Art is a great bonding and transformatory force for any community. It will be a focal point of our outreach work as well. We would not only like to build our own Art and craft workshops but also eventually give free classes to the community. Art inspires and it creates a happy space, even if life is not always a happy or easy place.
While we do not mind networking with non vegan communities Mutanthouse, like the United Nations and newest scientific evidence, recognises that a plant based diet is the only way to stop global water scarcity, soil pollution, global warming and world hunger; and YES we abhor the horror that animals go though at humanities hands. We are Environmentalists at and animal activists at Mutanthouse this constitutes being vegan! This is why residents moving here should be either vegan or on the way or willing to transition into Veganism.
So what now?
At this point in time we have space for about 15-20 people who will be building their own living space. The residents would contribute to a percentage of the mortgage, generated through equal division by number of households, would contribute to water and electricity costs (as long as we have them and are not self sufficient) and would contribute with their labour and engagement in the project.The main house will be transformed into a communal living space, with a communal kitchen, Medical room, Office, cat room and two guest rooms on the top level. Eventually we want to finish the basement and install two large water tanks, a canning room and also create another cat playground for the Mutanthouse cats.
For food supply we want to create an array of conventional gardens as well as window, roof, Aquaponic, Airoponic, and hydroponic environments. As mentioned part the project will be a community garden (both traditional and Aquaponic) and a small soup kitchen.
High point North Carolina has an over 50% unemployment rate; people are struggling to stay alive. This is why community outreach is so important , not only do I want this Microcommunity to thrive but I would like to also help the surrounding community become self sustaining and vibrant as well . This is why community outreach will become a major factor once the project is up and running. It will not only include the community garden and soup kitchen but also a list of services mutant house will provide in exchange for services and goods which will be utilised at Mutanthouse (Building materials, equipment and such) but also passed on to the needy in the surrounding community as well.
High point is a dying city and my neighbourhood pretty much the worst part of town, children are hungry here, animals dumped and forgotten (some abused in dog fighting). Hell point would be more fitting of a name. This property, however, is beautiful, old trees and flowers …this could be a home for many- this could be hope for all that come here. If this works we will be turning our lives around and maybe turn the lives of other people in need as well. We will be proving that another way of living is possible and that one can thrive even if the odds seem stacked against it. We hope to thrive and succeed, we hope to inspire the people to become self reliant, to get off the grid, to plant food, to cut costs through time banks and resource swapping; to make their lives worthwhile again despite the odds , despite the voices of mainstream society. Poverty should not be a life sentence and the myth of the lazy poor is exactly that a myth! Sure there are the Moochers of this world but they are in truth a very small percent of the population and many of them are actually found in the upper classes (although I really hate that word because money should not constitute the worth of a person or their standing, their actions should).
Mutanthouse’s furry residents
Animal welfare is a strong part of the Mutanthouse concept. At Mutanthouse we try to live in harmony with all living beings and recognise that our wellbeing is ultimately connected to theirs. Currently Mutanthouse is home to 15 Dogs and 9 Cat’s (divided between my self and a couple I took in 4 years ago Tim and kay ). We also want to start an outreach program for the dogs and cat’s in the surrounding community, many live without shelter and on chains. We would like to make their lives and reduce the suffering of these poor souls and the local strays with an expansion into a spay/neutering and adoption program. Gandhi once said “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated” – this will hopefully hold true for mutant house as well. I am tired of living a lifestyle that does not take all living things into account, there has to be a better more responsible and gratifying way for all.
Ways You Can Help:
If you live around here hands on help would be great , as well as the donation of building materials such as bricks , wood old windows ,old tires (for the earthships), dog food , cat food , gardening supplies, concrete , a concrete mixer , plants , fruit trees , garden sheds , seeds , dog houses (not the plastic kind ) to convert into outdoor winter homes for the local strays and for the neighbourhood dogs without outside shelter , benches , and anything else you think could be useful to the project that I did not think of . Thank you for your interest.
Alex of Mutanthouse 2012
BTW If you are interested in living here please contact me over our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Mutanthouse-Project/193566447344664