2012 has been a pretty rough year and its only been a month. that is not a good sign. maybe its just because its winter and everything feels so heavy here in the winter. already looking forward to the hope and energy that springtime brings.
we have been spending a lot of our time, energy, and focus in responding to a fire that happened in the neighborhood on christmas eve that killed two adults and 4 year old boy. it is a devastating tragedy that could have been prevented if the landlord of that home was in compliance with the vacate order that had been placed on the house. he was allowing them to rent an uninhabitable property that was lacking heat, among other things.
we started by having a neighborhood meeting which all the media ended up at. at that meeting we broke into smaller solution groups and brainstormed what we could do in the wake of this situation. there were many many great ideas thrown around. some immediate action plans and some long term plans like getting legislation changed. from that point a smaller group of about 10 of us have been meeting weekly and have been working on many different angles of this issue. we set out to survey this landlords 13 other properties in the neighborhood and found that there were a lot of similar stories. lacking heat, water, and other basic living necessities.
we also planned a protest outside the court when he went in for a code violation on a different home. we marched for a few hours outside, and a few were able to go in the courtroom for the hearing. this again brought the attention of the media which has really helped to make people aware of the issue.
so to make a very long and involved story short… some good things have come from this and some bad things have come from bringing attention to this. i am so amazed and impressed daily by the group that been working on this. they are some of the most dedicated, intelligent, and loving people i know and have taken every new twist and turn with patience and grace and have kept pushing forward.
onward we go.