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.
I became an Urban Neighbor in 1997. I was highly influenced by my previous experience facilitating mission trips for youth in areas of economic need, by my personal sense of calling to live among the forgotten, and by my faith calling to be a person of service. In the almost 20 years since I first stepped into 3105 Columbus Avenue, my understanding of faith, service, and who the forgotten are has radically changed.
My understanding of service used to be one-dimensional: I was the servant, I was the person whom God was using to create change, I was the launching pad. But what began as a one-dimensional, simple understanding of service, morphed into a deeper, more beautiful understanding and belief in the power of community. I am who I am, love who I love, live where I live, because of community. Because of the goodness, trials, heartaches, and celebrations of my community, my neighbors. What was once “mission activities” has now become a missional way of life, full of successes and twice as many failures. And that’s the beauty of community. That’s the understanding that began for me as an Urban Neighbor.
After her experience with Urban Homeworks, Gennae Falconer directed Urban Immersion Service Retreats for seven years until transitioning into her role as Director of Community Engagement for the Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches. Gennae, now a homeowner in north Minneapolis, added great depth and perspective to the formation of Urban Homeworks while serving as Board Secretary for 14 years. We are inspired by the work she is doing and so grateful for the investment she’s made in our organization and our neighborhoods!
Click here to learn more about the Urban Neighbor program.