RECLAIMING HOPE | Hope is the starting point for Urban Homeworks, the force that brings together low-income families, young professionals, job skill trainees, and volunteers from all walks of life into an exchange that restores homes and creates a space for neighbors to engage.
Eighty-five degrees and sunny…the perfect Saturday to start off August. The occasion is a housewarming party, and plates of chicken, ribs, and hot dogs sit ready as the party’s entrées, while potato salad and summer vegetables beckon as favorite summertime side-dishes.
Inside, the air conditioned air provides a respite from the mid-day humidity. A tour of the home reveals a dining room and a living room decorated just so, the jazz-themed artwork making the cool and slightly darkened room seem like a great venue to listen to John Coltrane’s finest.
Twins, Rayshawn and Raymiere (age 2) and older brother Xayvaire (age 3) play Hotwheels on an imaginary racetrack. Soon bored with the toy cars, they move on the to the next-best opportunity and extend me an invitation to tour the detached two-car garage, temporary home for items awaiting to be moved in to the house. They find a tote of toys; a football and a soccer ball are of most interest. I am invited to play a game of kickball in the still air of the garage.
This is a happy day.
Rochelle and Cordelle adopted “the boys” from Rochelle’s cousin and moved into a home ownership opportunity through Urban Homeworks in the 29th and Bryant POD earlier this summer. They are thrilled to provide the boys and Rochelle’s mother, the boys’ Grandma, a home on the Northside.
Cordelle works six sixteen-hour days driving a forklift, and Rochelle is a nurse. They work long hours and their apartment in Richfield was too small to accommodate their multi-generational family. What’s more, the twins have asthma, and the air in the ground-floor level apartment in which they lived made flare-ups much too frequent.
Cordelle and Rochelle were able to vacate the small suburban apartment that made life’s challenges even more daunting. They moved to a home where they each can have a well-earned rest, while Grandma watches the boys in a space filled with love and rich with hope for the future.
Today, I am a witness to dignified home ownership.
To support homeownership for families like Cordelle, Rochelle, Rayshawn, Raymiere, and Xayvaire, click here.