About 3 years ago I was able to spend a week attending a NeighborWorks community development/stabilization conference and classes. A few weeks prior, I found out I was pregnant with my 3rd child. I KNEW it would not be easy to attend as all of my pregnancies have been “high risk”, however “not easy “ was an understatement. In between violently vomiting (all day “morning sickness”), sharp muscle spasms in my back, and having a condition which produced excessive saliva, I was able to network with others dedicated to community development and rebuilding blighted urban areas. It was one of the most draining and yet- exciting times in my life, especially being that it was held in New Orleans….a city not fully recovered from the Katrina devastation.
I can not believe that was nearly 3 years ago. Ironically, like in childbirth the pains and hardship one endures in that time (before and during labor) become a memory, once that which you anticipate has arrived. Now, it’s just the growing pains.
We have hundreds of Non-Profits in the West End of Atlanta and many new businesses come to our NPU seeking support with this status and mission to help rebuild. Most claim to do community development, or provide homebuyer resources. Honestly, I have seen very little impact from any agency within my neighborhoods. Yes, we do have UCDC (University Community Development Corporation) who have successfully participated in the NSP program- rehabed and resold homes to a few owner occupants. However, the success ratio of these non-profits make it very difficult for me to support them.
Why are those who have made it their business to redevelop communities limited in their accomplishments? Some will say they are lacking financial resources (grants are limited) and others may be lacking support. I personally believe the “business” of community development can not be a 9-5 Mon- Friday business alone. There were many things I learned during the week in New Orleans, one thing that resonates throughout my community is that a stabilized safe neighborhood can not be built without resident involvement. In our communities, what I do see are neighbors with no affiliation to anything, nor ”C3′s” bringing in new residents, orchestrating clean ups, and public safety meetings.
In that spirit, this January 2013, Area West Realty will join with ”Committed To Communities” in their event sponsored by The Beltline Team, Invest Atlanta and Wells Fargo Neighborhood Lift on a mission to support our neighbors with their efforts of community development. During this time, we will showcase available homes, affordability programs and some of the best features in our communities. We are making available, the City of Atlanta, bank reps and * RRC for one on one (no-strings-attached) conversations. We only need YOU!
Mark your calendar January 12th for this event. We appreciate our neighbors and will have special “Thank You’s” for YOUR community development efforts. ( more information to come).
* Reynoldstown Revitalization Corporation, or RRC has successfully helped many potential home owners work on their credit, understand the home buying and ownership process.
I also encourage those in the business, and neighbors NOT in the business, to invest in additional training at NeighborWorks America. The information received is priceless, the connections made will change lives.
For information on past Committed to Communities events.