Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do I need a car to live in project neighborhood?
No. Although the houses are located off-campus they are all located on ITP bus lines. Both the Peniel and Koininia houses are located on or close to the #6 Cherry St. route about a 20-minute ride from Calvin. In addition, residents carpool frequently.

2. How strict is the “12 hours a week” requirement?
These hours include some of the time together as a house such as meals together and house meetings. Of course the houses are flexible, so it will be up to you and those who live in your house as to what kind of time commitments you will have. But if you're that tight for time, it's possible Project Neighborhood might not be right for you. We hope that time and service are a natural part of your experience in PN.

3. If I’m already involved in a ministry, will I have to drop it to be involved with the houses’ specific organization?
No, the ministries you are already involved in are an important part of the house’s base of service. Many different kinds of service are encouraged. However, we hope all residents gravitate toward ministries close to the house and churches, as it integrates the experience so well.

4. Project Neighborhood is a Calvin sponsored program, so does that mean the houses have to follow Calvin rules?
This isn't on-campus living, so there are few Calvin rules. Each house differs in the rules they as a community create. Part of community development is this process of developing the "covenants" which guide life in the houses. Residents are responsible to each other in these communities.

6. What if I want to go away for an off-campus program either interim, first or second semester?
We still encourage you to apply. Many former community members have worked around this. You may be placed back to back with another applicant who will be gone the opposite semester as you. You will also be encouraged to return to the house after your time away to continue your commitment. So much depends on how many people are applying and what their individual plans are.

7. The neighborhoods in which the houses are located have higher crime rates--will I be safe?
Yes, as safe as you would be anywhere else, as safe as you make it. In the HISTORY of the program, no person has been harmed. A few cars have been vandalized, but no significant problems have occurred. Some houses have alarm system, and residents play active roles in maintaining a safe environment.

9. Are mentors like RDs & RAs?
No-- mentors are either a single person or a married couple with or without kids. Each house is different and each mentor brings different gifts, and therefore the roles that the mentors play change from house to house. But in general, they are equals in the community who come with a different perspective than most college students. They provide experience and guidance when needed. Ultimately their role is like any house resident: to support, guide, and build each other within the community. They help maintain good communication with the college and the cooperating churches as well.

10. If you live in the Harambee,Peniel or Nizhoni house, do you have to attend First CRC, Eastern Ave CRC or Creston CRC on Sundays?
No, although we do encourage students to become involved. The churches typically have commissioning services at the beginning of each semester, and you are encouraged to attend to maintain a connection to the people that are supporting you, praying for you, and ultimately paying for part of your experience. Students attend these churches together at least once a month.