In 2011, after graduating from college, several of us wanted to move somewhere that needed good neighbors. Coleman moved first to Detroit where he spent time getting to know local organizations who were trying to turn around neighborhoods there.
In 2012, it became obvious that doors were opening for us in Pontiac and in August, we moved into our house at 32 Newberry. We spent a year listening to our neighbors and asking important questions: What is going well in this neighborhood, what isn't going well, where do your kids go to school, where do folks work around here?
After some time, we learned some of the challenges in my community-- lack of access to healthy food, lots of our homeless friends sleeping in vacant houses, there wasn't much for kids to do when they weren't in school.
So, after a year of listening, we set about to tackle some of these issues including growing community gardens, hanging out with neighborhood kids, living with an open door to our homeless friends for showers and a place to cook food.
Our team has changed over time. We've added folks, lost folks. We've had friends who came and couldn't handle it and friends that we couldn't handle. All the while we've loved fiercely the people that we've met in our community, through whatever issues they've faced and we're seeing it change our community for the better.