Being a Neighbor and Employment

This walk focused on 21st Street.

One neighbor cleans up the block — cuts the lawn outside of the fence and cleans up trash.

One man talked about small sharks that he had caught out fishing.  They are in the freezer for eating.

One man was looking for a place to rent a room.  This is a common issue of people not having permanent housing.

Shortly after the walk I asked a group of men on a porch in the neighborhood if they thought employment was a major issue for the neighborhood.  They said absolutely.  They know its THE major issue.  They said that people in the neighborhood need to develop skills to be able to gain access to workplaces.

Job opportunities for Ex-Felons

This walk was on 23rd Street.

Two guys who recently graduated high school talked about doing a neighborhood clean up.  They also talked about a basketball court and some kind of sack races would be fun.

Two guys on the porch.  One of them had been a standout basketball and baseball star.  He talked about job opportunities!  He said that drugs, petty crime, and mental illnesses such as depression could all be traced back to employment.  And once you get a felony on your record, you do not have an opportunity.  He talked about a program that Riverside City Jail has where they contract with a trash service and linen service to get people coming out jobs.

One woman talked about the aging community in the neighborhood and how they need transportation for getting prescriptions and other needs from the first to the eighth of each month.

One neighbor talked about the need to fix the road and provide a handicap access ramp at one point in the street.  This is a matter of working with the city.

Meeting our Neighbors

Both of these walks focused on 21st Street.

First a woman who had been connected with the church was sitting on her back porch.  She had not been for a while.

A neighboring church had a kitchen fire that day.  The pastor talked about their food distribution program on three Tuesdays in the month.  They also do a worship service on those days.

We met a group of grandchildren at one house.

We walked by the pool at 21st which is very popular.  We also talked to people at the who live in the retirement apartments on 21st.

Next we saw a woman on the corner.  We just spoke with her about how hot it was that day.

Jobs, GED, Pregnancy

This walk focused on 22nd Street.

One woman talked about the importance of her son to her.  He was out front washing cars as a small business.

Two teenage girls walked by and said that young teenage girls needed a program to educate them about pregnancy prevention.

Further down the street, a woman in her 20s suggested that the best way to educate young teens about pregnancy would be for older women who had been able to make it through without getting pregnant could talk with them.

The young man with her said that he had grown up around our church.  He suggested a block party and GED program would be good for the church to do.

One resident talked about the need for the food distribution to focus on providing access to people from Fairfield Court.  He has skills in building.

Finally a woman suggested having programs for youth was important.

An Inner Change and Employment

This walk focused on 23rd Street.

One neighbor emphasized that there had to be an inner change with people to succeed and not simply an outer change.  This neighbor’s mother had been involved with work at the church.

Another couple who walked by talked about interest in a bible study.  Another who walked by talked about how he cuts his neighbors lawns.

A third couple that walked by talked about employment and that a lot of people, particularly men in Church Hill, are good at working with their hands — mechanics, lawn work, and working with wood and those kinds of skills.

On this walk, we also were invited into a neighbors home who we had met previously.  She shared about her life and what she believed God had brought her through and how God had blessed her.