Neighborhood Drop-in and Resource Center

by sage holben | Apr 03, 2013
| 1 Comment

Summary:

Lower Dayton’s Bluff is home to many immigrant families in transition: Karen, Somali, Hmong, Black, Latino, and minority white. For many families, English is not the first language; nor are transportation, internet, typical office/resource hours, or once typical ‘ways of doing’ a part of these families lives. A neighborhood drop-in center located in one of the many now vacant houses will offer a safe, adult-facilitated home-like setting for local youth to get one-on-one attention with after-school and weekend activities and dialogue: kid-driven activities such as police gang unit talks we’ve had on a porch with kids being enticed into gangs; working on large neighborhood art projects; teaching each other to cook their ethnic foods; overcoming tensions between ethnic groups.

As a resource for many adult neighbors over my ten years in the Dayton’s Bluff neighborhood I find that issues of rental/housing, employment, etc. often need simple advocacy, or knowledge of who to call to get through a stressful maze. Trust is a factor in sharing personal information and consistent follow through.

People have already come forward to be active board members, accountants, and youth workers. Parents have shown interest in volunteering. Kids keep turning up at my house for help from early am to 11pm. Parents ask where to get help for their families. Kids face life-defining decisions daily. An ‘in the neighborhood’ drop-in center can offer consistency of adults being available to talk and to listen; to help the kids across that challenging span from adolescence to adulthood.

About You

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About You

First Name

sage

Last Name

holben

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United States

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How did you hear about the Forever Saint Paul Challenge?

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Your idea

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Title of your idea

Neighborhood Drop-in and Resource Center

Give us the highlights of your idea for making Saint Paul great (2,000 characters maximum or approx. 250 words)

Lower Dayton’s Bluff is home to many immigrant families in transition: Karen, Somali, Hmong, Black, Latino, and minority white. For many families, English is not the first language; nor are transportation, internet, typical office/resource hours, or once typical ‘ways of doing’ a part of these families lives. A neighborhood drop-in center located in one of the many now vacant houses will offer a safe, adult-facilitated home-like setting for local youth to get one-on-one attention with after-school and weekend activities and dialogue: kid-driven activities such as police gang unit talks we’ve had on a porch with kids being enticed into gangs; working on large neighborhood art projects; teaching each other to cook their ethnic foods; overcoming tensions between ethnic groups.
As a resource for many adult neighbors over my ten years in the Dayton’s Bluff neighborhood I find that issues of rental/housing, employment, etc. often need simple advocacy, or knowledge of who to call to get through a stressful maze. Trust is a factor in sharing personal information and consistent follow through.
People have already come forward to be active board members, accountants, and youth workers. Parents have shown interest in volunteering. Kids keep turning up at my house for help from early am to 11pm. Parents ask where to get help for their families. Kids face life-defining decisions daily. An ‘in the neighborhood’ drop-in center can offer consistency of adults being available to talk and to listen; to help the kids across that challenging span from adolescence to adulthood.

Website address (if applicable)

Innovation

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What makes your idea different or unexpected? (4000 characters maximum or approx. 500 words)

Housed right in the residential neighborhood; activities are largely kid-driven for what they are facing in the here and now, while forming decision-making processes for their tomorrows. Besides two full time staff, parents learn and teach others as they volunteer and/or staff.

Impact

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This Entry is about (Issues)

How will your idea make a difference in Saint Paul? (4000 characters maximum or approx. 500 words)

Strengthening families while building our neighborhood, Many of the transitional families in my neighborhood, mostly in rentals, move once or twice a year. It doesn't give a lot of time to build trust and relationships with adults. It is precious time to connect as much as possible on an almost daily basis with the kids, ages 8-20 who sometimes wander aimlessly, looking for some connection or place to be. DB Drop-in Center can be that difference. Have you known someone for only a short time, but who let you know that you were a valuable human being? That you, as a child, were worth the effort of an adult's time?

Sustainability

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Why do you think people will recognize or remember your idea after it comes to life? How might it inspire others to do something similar in their community? (4000 characters maximum or approx. 500 words)

When people are part of the forming, building, staffing of a neighborhood project, it lives; trust and understanding are the brick and mortar. We do away with naming people as the 'other' and we become 'us'. To a known drug dealing neighbor, I mentioned how safe I felt in my neighborhood. 'We've got your back, Sage'. I asked why. 'You treat us like human beings. You talk and listen. You see us.' When people who staff the center are people who are the neighborhood, whose children are those we love; this is how we are remembered and the work sustained.

johnshantelle143 johnshantelle143 said: Our neighborhoods should be treated well. Whatever happens to us will make them more interested to help. - YOR Health about this Competition Entry. - 2615 days ago read more >

sage holben submitted this idea. - 2851 days ago