This week I have been feeling sad that the program is ending soon. I feel like friendships are just now becoming strong and everyone will be leaving soon. Hopefully I will see people around on campus, but things won’t be just like they are now. I guess that is just how it goes.
In terms of my work, I have been feeling overwhelmed the last couple of weeks. I gave a presentation on Community Benefits Agreements which I had been working on for a while. It went well but now I am shifting my focus to another couple of projects. It will definitely be a stretch to get them done in time.
Everything gets better, though, when I talk to someone who has had a good experience in the program. I have been feeling really lucky to have had the opportunity to work for this organization. This week the Mayor’s office did a news story where he met a homeowner whose home had been repaired by Bridging Neighborhoods and toured the home. It was cool to see the news team and all the people with different jobs like communications for the Mayor’s office, the contractors who put new windows on the house, and the Bridging Neighborhoods team all come together. Below is a picture of me meeting the Mayor!
Something I continue to admire about the Bridging Neighborhoods team is how their services do not feel transactional. There are set amounts of money that they can spend on home repairs, but even after the work on the participant’s home is finished, the housing consultants will connect participants to a multitude of other resources like other grants or places where they can get affordable furniture. People also get a stipend to help with moving costs. The Bridging Neighborhoods staff know a lot about the participants and their unique situations which makes for very personalized service. It seems like the program was made very thoughtfully, with real people thinking about other people’s real needs. I know that should be a given, but it is really lovely to get to see it happen in real life and talk to people over the phone and in-person who are benefitting from the thoughtfulness of the program.