Residential Staff

The Ocate Cliffs program is seeking residential staff persons who help with building and operating the retreat center.

Benefits: You will be part of the founding crew of a whole new experiment. This is a beautiful and remote location providing a lot of space and time for yourself, and potentially for developing relationships with other staff. You can learn a wide variety of new skills and have a lot of choice about the best way for you to contribute. You will be helping to create an autistic workspace that is widely accessible. Food and housing is included.

Challenges: Living on a mountaintop means no city services except on occasional trips to town. If staying the winter, expect to be snowed in for a couple weeks at a time. The site is not yet accessible to wheelchair users.

Staff levels:

  • Short term volunteers and visitors: Come for a weekend or a week to find out if this is for you (no pay, no cost)
  • Dabbler staff: Longer-term volunteers get food and housing in exchange for 16 work hours per week.
  • Summer/winter staff: 30 hour weeks with pay.

Qualifications: You must have a desire to fulfill the mission of Ocate Cliffs. You must be at least 18, and eligible to work in the US. Preference given to those with disability advocacy or related experience, and those with experience in some of the duties listed. Training is part of the experience

Job details

We have three main but overlapping focus areas, so the job you do will probably be mainly in one of the areas. General housekeeping is included regardless of the focus area.

(1) Focus on construction – Construction in the building (tile, painting, etc); site improvement/development (tent pads; clearing trails; outdoor activity areas; downing & clearing trees, etc);

(2) Focus on marketing and administration – may include fundraising, marketing, booking paying guests, writing newsletters, creating training materials, and other desk work.

(3) Customer/volunteer hosting – may include activity lead for center visitors, event planning, outreach, emotional support.

To apply

To apply, please see contact information here. Position remains open until filled.

Also see thisĀ Printable job announcement

More questions and answers

Who else is there? As of this writing there are two people on site, and we don’t expect more than that in winters. We are trying to grow the on-site presence to 3-6 people consistently in other seasons, and more as we can.

Are there wild animals? There are bears and wildcats in the area, but we haven’t had any incidents and expect that with precautions everyone will be safe.

What about safety when snowed in? There is a risk in not being able to access help in winter. Ambulances can access the site, and in extreme circumstances there is helicopter rescue.

Is there internet? Some carriers (AT&T, Verizon) have a signal there, though it is not always reliable. We also have satellite internet with a montly usage limit.

How does the food work? Everyone who is there helps with meals and clean up family-style, or you can work out arrangements if you need to manage your food separately. The non-profit pays for food that staff buys at a grocery store.

Is there a private room? Maybe. We have 6 bedrooms in the house, with priority given to those who will share or who are long-term. Tents are also available. As the interior finishing is in progress, residents have to work around construction.