It’s been nearly impossible to talk about rebuilding neighborhoods these past few years without the economic downturn driving much of the conversation. Conventional wisdom holds there is little chance for our nation’s poorest communities – just an inescapable decline into economic helplessness, social segregation and blight. It’s clear why. Foreclosures and unemployment have devastated the rural communities where we work. We know the impact all too well. Still, our vision sees a different future.
How does our vision play out in practice? Rural Neighborhoods places families into quality housing where reasonable rents leave them with more disposable income. Parents have access to health care, childcare and financial counseling to help them stabilize their lives today and build assets for the future. Children get help with their homework and still have time to run and play in refurbished neighborhood parks. Through our work poor communities become sustainable neighborhoods – good places to live.
Ours is no longer just a vision or hopeful plan. Rural Neighborhoods knew at the outset it would be a long-term proposition, one that required passion and commitment as well as funding. We are building a good place to call home – and it’s working!