Skip to main content
HomeHistory

History


     The concept of an independent living intentional community within Lancaster city began in 2003 when Rod Houser presented the idea in an education forum at Community Mennonite Church of Lancaster. In September of 2004 a group of thirty-five interested persons met to explore the idea and related issues. It was at this time that the group adopted the name Lancaster Downtowners.

     Conversations and gatherings continued until 2006 when a Steering Committee was formed. The Steering Committee purchased the Beacon Hill Village Founders Manual, a book that provided the how-to story of a like-minded group of individuals who were exploring community-living options outside of Boston.

  In 2007 member Jim Kalish drafted an organizational prospective, and the Lancaster Downtowners began the process of incorporation - drafting bylaws and working with the Lancaster City Alliance as their fiscal sponsor - which was completed in January 2008.


      In 2010 the Lancaster Downtowners became a member of the Village to Village Network and implemented the Just One Call volunteer service program. In November of that year the organization received its 501(c)3 designation.

     The Downtowners continued to explore partnerships and additional services that could be beneficial to members, engaging local organizations and also inviting representatives from other Villages in the region to present program ideas.


     In February 2017 the Lancaster Downtowners began the implementation of a five year strategic plan to ensure the sustainability of the organization. In the fall of that year the Lancaster Downtowners established a partnership with Landis Communities to receive administrative support for a part-time staff position. The spring of 2018 the Lancaster Downtowners opened an office space at Steeple View Lofts and hired a part-time executive director.