Monday, March 21, 2011

CityWalk, The Ideal Community

I absolutely love our CityWalk community! I'm amazed at the diversity--cultural, educational, interests, skills, socioeconomic, ethnic. It's an amazing mix of people.

Since I've been there, I've met

  • a saxophone player who goes from church to church to play...and who is trying to get something going for an Easter celebration
  • a New Orleans jazz player who has his own non-profit (Inner-City All Stars) and write grants to be able to perform and interact with kids and get them interested in music
  • an audio engineer who is helping us figure out how to make our music room soundproof so the musicians in our building can practice
  • a retired nurse who helps with our weekly clinic
  • a photographer who feels strongly about providing a great environment for his son
  • a script writer who didn't have enough money for an attorney so he did his own research and won his first hearing and is now getting ready for his second one
  • a man who loves to read and worked hard to get the library community room in order
I'm sure there are more I've forgotten...and I know I will get to know more amazing people. 

In the attempt to capitalize on these strengths, last Thursday we had our first Ideal Community meeting. As we began talking, people seemed hesitant at first. But once the we started writing down ideas, more people chimed in.
  • Better relationship with the Arts District
  • Programs for teenagers
  • Transportation to the grocery store...and more ideas came about how to chip in for gas money (like a co-op) so that we could take the van instead of each individual taking the DART bus
  • Connection with the Angel Food Ministries 
  • Health Fair connected with the Walgreens Wellness Tour
  • VITA tax preparation site
  • Group counseling for domestic violence and incest recovery
  • CityWalk Night Out where everyone dresses up and goes out
Several people got assignments. Ms. Ophelia and Ms. Annie agreed to set up a health fair around the wellness tour. They started meeting and planning as soon as the meeting was over. Ms. Sharon offered to help connect us with resources she's connected with in the past. She quickly did her job and, before the day was over, was asking for her next assignment. As I brainstormed with her later, we came up with the Citywalk Greeters that we're hoping to implement soon (get ready to come visit us!).

I was so impressed by everyone's excitement and enthusiasm that I interviewed Ms. Sharon later. I'll post her interview on Tuesday.
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