“It’s a little bit like a Kickstarter model, right? Like, if 20,000 people say they’ll do it, then we’ll do it,” she said.
The first movers are making it easier for those who come after them. At least one Free Stater owns a real estate company, which he uses to help his fellow “porcupines,” as participants are nicknamed.
They also spring to action to help new movers unpack and get to know the area, and Gericke said there’s a buddy program that helps people find a mechanic or a doctor.
“Honestly, I’m glad it’s taken its time because people have laid a lot of groundwork. . . . Even though, yes, it’s taken over a decade, I think that it is actually going to benefit the movement as a whole,” she said.