When you are living paycheck to paycheck or on a very fixed income, finding a safe place to call home can be challenging. And many people in this situation move often in order to be able to save money or pay a bill. With all this transitional living, community can be hard to create.
If you grew up in the suburbs of Houston, you likely lived in a house in a good neighborhood. And your house was probably on a street filled with neighbors you knew and you even grew up together. Back in that day, you depended on each other for the little things- cups of sugar, feeding the pets when on vacation, and even watching your kids after school. Your neighbors were close family friends. You may have even spent your holidays together. Knowing the majority of people on your street and hanging out at their houses is probably some of your favorite childhood memories.
But transitional living- moving one apartment to another often- makes it nearly impossible to create a community of close neighbors. And without that community, growing up can be lonely. And loneliness can lead to boredom, and boredom can lead to trouble. Children who come home to empty apartments or houses are more likely to get into trouble than those who have someone waiting for them at home. But not everyone can afford to be home when their kids get home. And even if they can, they feel isolated from their neighbors around them.
That’s where Redwood Living steps in to offer support and resources for under resourced apartment complexes. Their mission is to move into these complexes, offer programs for the children and adults, connect with local churches and other service organizations and create an atmosphere of community. When these children and adults see that they are being invested in and learn how to personally better their community, their lives and environment are transformed.
Redwood Living isn’t just about volunteers showing up and putting on a kids program. They are incarnational living in these complexes alongside these residents. They open their own homes to these children and adults and work to cultivate the community from the inside out. They partner with local churches and other organizations in order to provide the best possible resources for these families. Their goal is to empower these families to learn what resources are available to them and how to use their community as a support system.
And it’s with community that lives are changed. Kids who come home to empty apartments now have neighbors they can visit and hang out with until their parents come home. Adults now have people that they can trust and lean on when they need just a little extra help. A big apartment complex no longer feels lonely but like a community of support.
Learn more about Redwood Living: http://theredwoodliving.org/