Friday, February 24, 2006
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
"Even though you offer me your
burnt offerings and grain
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
I will not listen to the melody
of your harps.
"But let justice roll down like
and righteousness like an
everflowing stream." Amos 5:21-24