Our lack of human connection, one of our biggest challenges, will not be solved with technology. Bigger police forces won’t do it either.
Our salvation lies in forging bonds with people that we can sit across from and share a cup of coffee with and a tear if the conversation calls for it.
Addressing housing and neighborhoods is the logical starting point.
Environments that support healthy lifestyles with neighbors who pay attention and care, access to schools, shopping, parks, and public transportation are elements that make a neighborhood safe and desirable.
This Crain’s Chicago Business article, The Rebuilders of South Chicagoland reports that that South Siders are taking their neighborhoods back. That is Progress, with a capital “P.
It’s a nascent movement to rebuild Chicago’s once-thriving south, household by household, from the effects of decades of disinvestment, race-based struggle and epidemic violence. “It’s counter to the pessimism that exists in our community,” says the Rev. Kevin-Andre Brooks, pastor of Greater St. John AME Church, the oldest black church in Englewood. “It’s saying we are going to make these into communities where people sit on the front porch, and children play out front, and run up and down the block again.”
The commitment to stay and weather the economic ups and downs makes a neighborhood attractive and stable. Bonds forged over the long haul are durable.
Reclaiming housing and neighborhoods has the potential to not only put an affordable roof over people’s heads, it can create jobs. In the housing booms of the 70s, 80s, and 90s, the building trades drove the economy.
Let’s bring that back but this time, rather than making developers rich, let’s build neighborhoods up by creating robust, resourceful communities where people commit to staying put and helping everyone thrive.
New Community Vision seeks to partner with congregations and community groups to organize frequent occasions to socialize and meet others. Eventually, relationships will form, some may be close, while others may be respectful and functional–which is a blessing in itself. Subscribing to the newsletter, Dispatch from a possible future (1st and 3rd Fridays), ensures that you will know about new developments and upcoming gatherings and that you won’t miss anything. As always, please like our Facebook page. If this post resonates with you, please comment. Google and Facebook love your comments but not as much as I do.