A Beloved Community – Part 1

Written by Jordie Yap on . Posted in Announcements, Blog

A Beloved Community, Where Folks With Disabilities Are at the Center

We’re the second half of the airport name. Like Minneapolis-St.Paul. Dallas-Fort Worth. We’re the “Durham” in Raleigh-Durham. And we’re really excited to welcome everyone to North Carolina. On September 25, 2014, CCDA Conference particpants have the opportunity to join a Go & See visit to the Reality Center and the North Street Neighborhood in beautiful downtown Durham.

Where We Connected

In 2007, 916 Lamond Avenue in Durham—aka The Reality Center—was established as a hub for people with disabilities, and local teens, to connect with people who loved them, with one another and with God. The presence of these vibrant friends, coming each week from family homes and from local group homes, drew more folks. High school and college students, young adults and older adults wanted to share life with these friends—who happened to have intellectual and physical disabilities—who are, too often, isolated in the communities where they live. I don’t want to get all gushee and say it’s a lovefest over there at The Reality Center, but…peek at Reality Ministry’s annual Kings and Queens dance, HERE, to see for yourself. There’s a lot of love.

Our Friend’s Needs

Families and friends of folks with disabilities recognized that many of the people we loved needed a rich network of loving relationships. Some needed a safe place where they could live independently, or with support. Many needed meaningful work. And, together, we began to discern that relocation might meet some of our friends’ needs. The ideal community, we discerned, would be one in which there would be:
  • People who valued and supported our friends
  • Access to a bus line to get to and from jobs
  • Opps for our friends to explore and share their gifts
  • Wheelchair accessible homes (#stillworkingonthisone)
  • Food and activities in walking distance
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A Beloved Community – Part 2

Written by Jordie Yap on . Posted in Announcements, Blog

North Street Neighborhood

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After meeting and praying for many months, a friend who caught the vision for this intentional community purchased and began renovating a two-block property downtown Durham, making it possible for folks with disabilities to be at the center of our life together. On July 27, 2012, the first family, and single young man living independently for the first time, moved into the cluster that we identify as North Street Neighborhood. (Named because North Street is what connects us to many of our neighbors who, already at the heart of this community, were here before we arrived.)

Residents continue to arrive as more buildings are completed. All the homes are homeowner-occupied, with renters as well. Two buildings on Northwood Circle are Friendship Houses, where young adults with disabilities share life with Duke Divinity School students. In the next year we’re expecting to welcome the Jubilee Home for young men transitioning out of the juvenile justice system.

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We’re old and young. We’re white and black and Asian. We’re single and married. We’re homeowners and renters. We’re people with graduate degrees and people who learn in Special Education classrooms. Some of us are mostly able-bodied. Some aren’t. What we hope distinguishes us is that we want to be neighbors with one another and we want to be neighbors with our neighbors.

Surprise! It’s Not Utopia

We’re still learning. We’re learning about racial inequity. We’re learning about the invisible rippling effects of privilege. We’re seeing with our eyes why many of the current systems aren’t serving the ones they’re meant to “help.” We’re working to help our friends find meaningful employment that meets their needs.

And we pray for the good of our city, convinced that it cannot flourish without the full participation of our friends with disabilities.

Our goal is to create a beloved community and this will require a qualitative change in our souls as well as a quantitative change in our lives. ~ Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

More about North Street Neighborhood – http://northstreetneighborhood.weebly.com/

 

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Shared by Margot Starbuck

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Church Engagement Tools

Written by Lorenzo Watson on . Posted in Announcements

Are you excited about the upcoming 2014 CCDA National Conference and would like to share some of the conference details with your local church?  If so,  we have a few tools that may help you do just that.  Please visit the Promotions Toolbox to access and download any of the following items from our Church Engagement folder:
    • Insert:  This is a short announcement that should fit into your church’s weekly bulletin.
    • Flyer:  This flyer is meant to be placed in strategic places around the church.  The flyers also work well as handouts to guests.
    • Announcement:  Brief blurb about the conference intended to be read in front of the congregation or emailed with other church announcements.
  We will continue to place items in the Toolbox as they become available. As always, let us know how we can be of further assistance.

-2014 CCDA National Conference Promotions Team

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