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.
“Monstrous mosquitos and giant snowflakes…”
“Peach cobbler and banana puddin’…”
“Poverty, gunshots, and broken homes…”
“Listenin’ to my mama tell me to ‘Put it in God’s hands’…”
(Listen to the video while you read.)
Inspired by George Ella Lyon's "Where I'm From" poem - a handful of team members, residents, donors, and friends did a reflective exercise that illuminated our diversity, commonalities, and ultimately our shared humanity. Where we're from has shaped who and where we currently are - listening to each others' context reinforced the power of a strong home foundation. The reality is, some of us came from places with bedroom walls marked every year to show growth, others came from places where the walls around them changed too often to count and having a bedroom was a privilege rarely seen.
Last year, almost 10% of the kids enrolled in Minneapolis Public Schools were homeless or highly mobile. Their “Where I'm From…” stories will hold a whole host of barriers that no child should have to overcome. In 2015 Urban Homeworks created stable Place for over 260 kids in neighborhoods that are experiencing vacancy rates lower than 2%! As Anchor Partners with NAZ, we’re housing 76 NAZ kids and as NAZ Housing Action Team Leaders, we've connected hundreds of other families to stable housing and/or support when we had no openings.
We are, today, making it possible for the next generation to tell more stories, some day, about peach cobbler and banana pudding…not gun shots and rootlessness. This powerful platform we call HOME is paving the way for hopes and dreams to take over the space that fear and anxiety once held in the hearts and minds of our kids and our neighbors.
Thank you for listening to the voices, the differences, and the shared humanity captured in these sound bites. Thank you for helping to level the playing field. Our neighbors are shaping and sharing a new “Where I'm From...” in the communities they now live in and love. This collective of voices was put together for last year’s Perpetuate the Hope event – make sure to save the date for this year’s lunch: September 29, 2016.