Today our neighborhood is building a playground for its children. . .all in just one day!
Well, I guess that's not quite true.
A number of volunteers, including Central Dallas Ministries staff led by our amazing Chief Operations Officer, Keith Ackerman, have been busy doing "prep work" for the past three days.
But, today well over 100 volunteers from the Carroll and Monarch community, located just down the street from our first new housing development at Ashby Commons, will gather to assemble and install a complete playground in cooperation with KaBoom!--the renowned community organizing, playground builders.
In addition to our neighbors there will be volunteers from our partners in this project--PepsiCo, Frito-Lay, the Dallas Housing Authority as well as a team from Radio One!
Our celebrity for the day will be Dallas Cowboys future Hall of Fame inductee, Deion Sanders.
It will be a great day.
The community will be stronger for it and our children will have wonderful new place to play outdoors.
Cool deal all around! ________________________________________
Yesterday turned out to be fairly amazing.
Our team met at City Hall with representatives from the City Manager's office and other program leaders to provide a briefing on our proposed affordable housing project in downtown Dallas.
It is fun to watch city staff people get creative in an attempt to help make a project successful.
Our goal is to develop over 200 high-quality, affordable housing units in a previously abandoned 15-story building. If we are successful, the project will be a model for the city.
We have a ways to go for sure. But we are making great progress.
I can see previously homeless persons calling our building "home." It will be magic for us all. __________________________________
Every one of our venues have been packed with people this week.
It is amazing how the intersection of need and opportunity attract, sustain and connect people.
I notice that folks tend to find reasons to just hang around our gathering places even after their official business is completed.
It is a good sign and fun to watch, even though the growing need is tragic. ___________________________________
So, old Amos sings out in that distinctive, prophetic, Hebrew cadence that we ignore to our peril:
"I hate, I despise your festivals, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies.
"Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them; and the offerings of well-being of your fatted animals I will not look upon,
"Take away from me the noise of your songs; I will not listen to the melody of your harps.
"But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an everflowing stream."Amos 5:21-24
Larry's new book, now available from Amazon.com! Also, now in Kindle format! To place your order visit Amazon.com today! Also, available at Barnes and Noble bookstores and on the web. Click on the image above to order!
Rising from Ashes
Larry James' Urban Daily
A repository of ideas, resources, commentary and opinions concerning the issues facing low-income residents of the inner cities of the United States and how mainstream America largely forgets or, worse, ignores the day-to-day realities of urban life for the so-called "poor." Written and edited by the President & CEO of CitySquare. Please visit CitySquare.
Today and throughout 2013, we need your support to continue our life-changing work in inner-city Dallas. Every day hundreds of our wonderful neighbors arrive at our doors seeking our assistance, offering their help and prepared to pursue a better life. Frankly, the folks we "serve" make essential contributions to the scope, nature and soul of the work we attempt. At CitySquare we honor and recognize the amazing value and richness of our low-income neighbors. During 2012, almost 55,000 different people received the benefit of our wide-ranging services designed to assist in the process of building better lives. We need your help TODAY as we continue to respond to the needs of our community. Even more, we need you to become our PARTNER in the work of compassion and community renewal--work that continues day after day at CitySquare.