Main fundraiser photo

A year in a Tipi

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What if you could take a year off from mortgage/rent, utilities and traditional living to embark on a journey living in community? It would be a game changer for sure. 5 years ago Jodi and I along with some dear friends decided to embark on a social experiment that would redefine community and its impact.  We hatched a plan to build a full size tipi in our backyard (because why not think outside the box)  with the understanding that those friends would then live in the tipi for a year rent free while contributing to the daily life of our little commune. This meant redefining community and traditional  daily living. It was life changing us all.

We shared everything from our kitchen and bathroom (sometimes there was a line) to groceries, artistic endeavors, joys and sorrows. It was beautiful. It helped them take a deep breath, save up for the next season and grow in mind, body and soul; it extended our capacity for humanity's influence on each of us  daily and for our family to reimagine what "would you like to be my neighbor?" can mean if you have a creative mind. 

The  Cole Train was deeply affected, our boys experienced radicle community and learned to be flexible and to love well. We all learned to not sweat the small stuff and that a shared dinner or impromptu dance party can cover a multitude of sins . Over the past 5 Years we have had 5 individuals from as far as Mozambique, New Hampshire and Georgia, to as close as Camp Pendleton, call the tipi home.
(looking up)

We deeply desire to keep 'A year in the Tipi' going. We desire to make this space a continued refuge of healing and spiritual growth, as well as a  blessing to our broader community. We are open to how this land will be used and hope it's around for a long time to come.  That's where you come in!

As you might guess, after 5 years in the elements our tipi is tired, worn out and needs some love! Our plan is to replace the Tipi Canvas, re-do the massive deck the tipi sits on and create a more functional interior. 
(this is an interior photo after the tipi was originally decorated)

If this has heald your attention thus far, please consider donating today!

We look forward to seeing how God will continue to use the tipi to build and grow lives in community!


  • Anonymous
    • $100 
    • 4 yrs


Joe Cole
Carlsbad, CA

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