Reconnecting People | Once a property has been restored, Urban Homeworks works to connect neighbor to neighbor to create a livable, robust community with a strong sense of home. The result is a rich exchange between households that reweaves a sense of community through day-to-day activities.
By Jon Lundberg, Community Engagement Program Manager and Director of the Urban Neighbor Program
What if - My job couldn’t do without me for a month?...I didn’t have a community come around me in a financial crisis or medical emergency?...I didn’t have friends and family who, in our darkest hour, would take in our family of 4? What if?
5 weeks ago while participating in the old guy version of America’s pastime when a divot changed the trajectory of a sharply hit ball from my glove to my face. I was told three hours later that I needed reconstructive surgery to put the pieces of my nose back together and install a titanium plate in my eye socket to bridge a San Andreas like crevasse that had appeared. $30 - $50,000 is what we were told to expect, who doesn’t have that laying around. Another blow, in this was that we made $300 too much last year and as of Jan ’15 we no longer qualified for good insurance that we could afford. Forced to settle for crappy insurance that we could afford we trudged into this abyss with more than a little anxiety.
Within days an amazing friend put together a “go fund me” account for us. Within a week we had $10,000. Our “worst case” scenario of debt, foreclose, and unemployment still ended with community to pick us up. We have experienced “community” at its most rich. We are rich with “social capital”. Unfortunately, this scenario is not uncommon among our neighbors. This recipe for homelessness is reality for so many that struggle to find and sustain community. Jesus said “love your neighbor as yourself”. The Lundberg’s have unprecedented incentive to do just that.