The unique community spirit at Gould Farm offers meaningful work coupled with recreation, singing, music, crafts and a celebration of farming and life.
Gould Farm is a compassionate, respectful family environment where people with mental illness learn to build more meaningful lives for themselves through work, recreation and community life. The services at the farm remain rooted in the belief that every person has something to contribute despite mental or emotional limitations. Central to the farm model is a structured, supportive work environment for guests.
Whether tending to the gardens or roadside store, pasteurizing milk, or preparing wholesome meals, volunteers, staff, and guests alike work together to run this 600-acre farm. When guests can demonstrate an adequate understanding of their strengths and vulnerabilities, the Boston Program serves as a short-term springboard for practicing life skills necessary for living in an urban environment.
2013 marked the 100th anniversary of Gould Farm, the oldest residential therapeutic community in the nation dedicated to helping adults living with mental illness.
|What You'll Be Doing||
Staff Members generally work in one specific area at the Monterey-based farming community; lead, coach and work with small groups of guests on structured tasks that are required to run the farm; serve as informal counselors and role models; and join in community life and recreation.
Volunteers must make a full-time commitment, usually 12-24 months in length (some summer opportunities may also be available). Although positions are available throughout the year, the greatest need for volunteers occurs in the months of May and September. In order to provide the most fulfilling experience, volunteers are asked to be flexible and work on several areas of the Farm.
Volunteer job opportunities are generally offered in these areas:
Forestry and Grounds
Harvest Barn Bakery
Learn more about all volunteer opportunities »
I loved my experience volunteering at Gould Farm so much that I decided to stay for a 2nd year! I connected on a deep level with the mission of the Farm, the guests, and with my team. During my service, I felt tremendous personal and professional growth. A big heartfelt thanks to Gould Farm! —Sherene, Residential Volunteer
|Perks & Rewards||
Benefits include a private bedroom in shared onsite staff housing with a common living room, kitchen and bath, farm-fresh meals, a generous stipend of $250 per month, fully paid health insurance (with a one year commitment), and supervision under a senior staff member. Recent graduates are generally able to defer student loans through volunteer work at Gould Farm.
The unique spirit that resides in this rural community lifestyle offers both meaningful work coupled with recreation, singing, music, crafts and a celebration of nature and life.
Gould Farm provides challenging opportunities for volunteers and staff members from around the world. Mature, well-rounded and people-oriented individuals who are interested in learning and living in a therapeutic community are encouraged to apply. Musical, artistic and craft-oriented talents are always appreciated.
Internships are ideal for students who desire quality work experiences before applying for graduate school or starting lifetime careers. Others choose to serve Gould Farm through religious or secular volunteer agencies as well as AmeriCorps.
I came to Gould Farm because I wanted to get social work experience before graduate school. Now in my second year as a volunteer on the residential team, I am grateful to have found much more. Ultimately, at Gould Farm I have found both a place to call home and the chance to feel a part of something much larger than myself. —Kijai, Residential Volunteer
|Your First Move & Connections||
If you are a mature and caring individual interested in living in a therapeutic community, fill out the online volunteer application. Applications for volunteer positions are accepted year-round.