North Street Neighborhood
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.
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/
Shared by Margot Starbuck
Follow Margot on Twitter @MargotStarbuck