For some reason people find it very easy to fear "the poor."
I suppose my experiences with poor folks over the past 30 years contribute to my lack of patience and my weariness with such ignorance. And, just about every day I gather some bit of new evidence that confirms and deepens my perspective on this matter.
There is no reason to fear "the poor."
Recently, I received a note written by Judy Lawrence, the Properties Manager for the Central Dallas CDC. She is in charge of leasing up our various housing properties, including the big project at 511 N. Akard, CityWalk @Akard that includes 150 affordable housing units and 50 set aside for homeless persons.
As we move closer to opening date, Judy spends much of her day interviewing prospective tenants.
Her reflections provide the latest evidence that our fears are very misplaced:
I've had 3 interviews for CityWalk already this morning. Each interviewee impressed me in so many ways....two young women with awful experiences in their lives - just trying to turn their lives around and one older man, currently living in his truck who, when I mentioned the one community room that was set up as a rehearsal room, eyes lit up and excitement filled his face and resonated in his voice. He was a song and dance man. He still loves to sing and dance - sang at festivals throughout Texas and the prospect of being able to do that again brought tears to his eyes. His voice cracked as he talked about how much he'd love to do that again and he ended by saying...I don't know what to say to which I responded...it is what Rev. King said...keep hope alive. He just left the office and he thanked me for giving him hope. My response, no sir, it is you who give us hope and we need to translate that hope into a reality.
All three people had lost hope - that is what CityWalk is all about. Take the politics out of it. Take the rhetoric out of it. Simply listen to the heart and it says it all.
Thanks, Judy, I needed that!
We just don't need to waste another moment on fearing one another.