Molly De Marco's blog
Last Monday night (March 21st, 2011) the Interfaith Council finally made it through the Special Use Permit process to present their plans for a Men’s Homestart-like Transitional Housing Facility.
The process of finding a location for a men’s facility has been going on for over two decades. In that time, many potential sites have been considered and each time discarded after vigorous complaint by potential neighbors.
This time, IFC has gone through the rigorous Special Use Permit (SUP) process with a higher level of scrutiny by town residents than most SUPs receive. The application has now been unanimously approved by all necessary advisory boards, including the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, Planning Board, Community Design Commission, Transportation Board, and Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board.
The work conditions that day laborers experience are an ongoing issue in Orange County. Through the work of Orange County Justice United, I have learned that day laborers in Orange County are often both Latino and African American, contrary to popular thought that all are illegal immigrants. Some of the Latino day laborers are here legally, but are unable to find work in the formal economy. Many of our day laborers face challenges including wage theft and unsafe work conditions where they may be injured, but do not have insurance to cover treatment, and run the risk of being robbed of their pay, often given in cash.
The Chapel Hill Town Council, in June 2010, adopted a goal of creating one-page strategies for Public Art, Communications, Sustainability, and Affordable Housing like the one-pager created for Economic Development. The Affordable Housing Technical Advisory Group was recently formed to aid town staff in developing a one-pager for Affordable Housing. The Technical Advisory is made up of representatives from The Community Home Trust, Habitat for Humanity, IFC, EmPOWERment, Inc., CASA, Justice United, East West Partners, Radway Design Associates, Orange County Housing, Human Rights, and Community Development, the Chapel Hill Public Housing Program, and the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce.
The Executive Team of the Orange County Partnership to End Homelessness is interested in ideas for possible social enterprises in the county that could provide sustainable, living wage jobs for our homeless and low-income neighbors.
One possible model is being tried in Cleveland, Ohio, which though a much more urbanized area, could provide an example for us:
I am midway through a two-day workshop called 'Undoing Racism', which is being held at and co-sponsored by the United Church of Chapel Hill. We have over 35 people attending the workshop including UNC grad students, staff, researchers, and community partners, a handful of Justice United members, a teacher from the Chapel Hill-Carrboro School District, staff from Active Living By Design, and parishioners and clergy from the UCCH and it's sister church, Fisher Memorial (a Black church in Durham).
This workshop is providing a lot of food for thought about how racism was constructed and is perpetuated. Seems to me this might be a really good opportunity to get some much needed community discussisons about race started.
Below (More Information) is a link for more information on the workshop.
What do you think? Would you attend? Should community groups, such as Justice United and/or Justice In Action co-sponsor something like this? Is it even needed?
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