In this March 27, 2012 WILL-TV broadcast, host David Inge leads a panel discussion about housing issues in Champaign and Vermilion counties. He's joined by Brenda Eheart (Executive Director, Generations of Hope), John Graves (Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity of Danville), Thom Pollack (President, New Holland Corp), Jenell Hardy (Grants Coordinator, City of Urbana), and Rev. Ervin Williams (Restoration Urban Ministries).

TRANSCRIPT:

IT HAS BEEN CALLED AMERICA'S FORGOTTEN HOUSING CRISIS.
ALL ACROSS THE COUNTRY PEOPLE ARE STRUGGLING TO FIND SAFE AND AFFORDABLE RENTAL HOUSING FOR THEIR FAMILIES.
TONIGHT WE WILL TALK WITH A PANEL OF GUESTS TRYING TO SOLVE A PROBLEM AND FIND A SOLUTION, JOIN US FOR HOUSING, A BASIC NEED.
>>> YOUR IDEA OF THE PERFECT HOME MAYBE DIFFERENT FROM THE FOLKS NEXT DOOR, BUT THERE ARE SOME THINGS THAT EVERYONE WANTS, SECURITY, GOOD NEIGHBORS, A SAFE PLACE FOR YOUR CHILDREN TO PLAY, A PLACE THAT YOU CAN TAKE PRIDE IN.
BUT FOR MANY AMERICANS, THE GAP BETWEEN THE COST OF HOUSING AND THE ABILITY TO PAY PUTS THE STABILITY OF AN AFFORDABLE HOME BEYOND THEIR REACH.
WE HAVE BROUGHT TOGETHER FIVE PEOPLE WITH DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES ON THE ISSUE, AND WE WILL START BY GETTING AN OVERVIEW OF THE NEED FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN OUR PART OF THE STATE.
I WILL TURN RIGHT TO JENELL HARDY, WHO IS SITTING NEXT TO ME.
SHE IS THE GRANTS COORDINATOR FOR THE CITY OF URBANA.
IN YOUR WORK, HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH THE ISSUE OF HOUSING?
>>I ADMINISTER A PROGRAM FOR FIVE HOMELESS FAMILIES THROUGHOUT THE CITY OF URBANA.
WE HAVE FIVE SCATTERED SITES.
THE CITY OF URBANA HAS GRANT FUNDS THAT SOCIAL SERVICE AGENCIES OR NONPROFITS CAN APPLY FOR TO WORK WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE HOMELESS OR PROVIDE OTHER HOUSING.
>>ONE OF THE THINGS WE REALLY WANTED TO TRY TO FOCUS ON WAS THIS GAP BETWEEN THE PEOPLE WHO NEED HOUSING AND THE HOUSING THAT IS AVAILABLE.
WE SEEM TO HAVE A REAL SERIOUS PROBLEM WITH AFFORDABLE HOUSING.
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT WHAT THAT LOOKS LIKE IN EITHER IN THE CITY OF URBANA OR CHAMPAIGN COUNTY.
>>AFFORDABLE HOUSING IS VERY DIFFERENT FOR EVERYONE.
SOME PEOPLE ARE LOOKING FOR IT TO BE A REASONABLE RENT, BUT MORE THAN JUST THE REASONABLE RENT, IN GOOD NEIGHBORHOODS, CLOSE TO GOOD SCHOOLS, OTHER GOOD RESOURCES FROM SOCIAL SERVICE AGENCIES BEING AVAILABLE FOR THEM AND ALSO MEETING THEIR HOUSING NEEDS.
SO AFFORDABLE HOUSING IS BIGGER THAN JUST THE AFFORDABLE RENT PER SE.
>>WELL, WHEN WE TALK ABOUT AFFORDABLE HOUSING, REALLY WHAT DO WE MEAN?
HOW IS THAT DEFINED?
>> I THINK TYPICALLY PEOPLE THINK ABOUT 30% OF A PERSON'S INCOME, MONTHLY INCOME IS A REASONABLE AMOUNT TO SPEND ON RENT OR EVEN YOUR MORTGAGE PAYMENT.
YOU HAVE A LOT OF PEOPLE SPENDING MORE LIKE 50%.
IT PUTS A COST BURDEN THERE, AB BEING ABLE TO MAINTAIN UTILITIES OR OTHER FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS YOU HAVE MONTHLY.
>>LET ME TALK HERE NEXT WITH JOHN GRAVES SITTING NEXT TO YOU,
THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF HABITAT FOR HUMANITY IN DANVILLE.
I THINK PEOPLE WILL BE FAMILIAR WITH THE ORGANIZATION, HABITAT.
BUT IF THEY ARE NOT, WHAT ARE YOU ALL ABOUT?
>> IT IS A GREAT NAME BRAND AND A LOT OF PEOPLE GET VISIONS IN THEIR HEAD WHEN HABITAT FOR HUMANITY IS MENTIONED.
REALLY WHAT WE DO IS WE FIND THAT SEGMENT OF PEOPLE WHO ARE WANTING TO LIVE THE AMERICAN DREAM, OWN THEIR OWN HOUSE, BUT BECAUSE OF THEIR CIRCUMSTANCE OR CONDITIONS, CAN'T AFFORD TO OWN A HOME.
SO WE TRY TO FIND THOSE FOLKS WHO WOULD LIKE TO OWN A HOME, CAN'T MAYBE AFFORD IT, AND THROUGH THEIR SWEAT EQUITY OR THE WORK THEY PUT IN THE HOUSE, WE ACTUALLY PUT THEM INTO A HOME THAT THEY ARE PURCHASING FROM HABITAT. CAN YOU TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE HOUSING SITUATION IN VERMILLION COUNTY, PARTICULARLY, AGAIN, HOW SERIOUS THIS LACK OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING MIGHT BE.
>> THERE ARE SEVERAL STAGES, IF YOU WILL, I THINK OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING PROBLEMS.
THERE ARE FOLKS WHO ARE HOMELESS, WHO ARE JUST DESPERATELY TRYING TO FIND A PLACE OF THEIR OWN TO LIVE.
I THINK THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO ARE LIVING IN PUBLIC HOUSING, WHO WOULD LIKE TO MOVE OUT OF PUBLIC HOUSING INTO MAYBE A MORE A FRIENDLIER NEIGHBORHOOD, A PLACE THEY CAN CALL THEIR OWN OR LIVE WITH LESS RULES AND REGULATIONS.
THERE ARE FOLKS WHO LIVE IN RENTAL HOUSING, BUT WOULD LIKE TO OWN THEIR OWN HOME, WOULD LIKE TO LIVE THE AMERICAN DREAM.
SO IN ALL ASPECTS OF THAT AFFORDABLE HOUSING ISSUE, WE FIND DIFFERENT FOLKS.
>>I WANT TO JUMP ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE END OF THE TABLE AND TALK WITH ERVIN WILLIAMS.
TELL US ABOUT RESTORATION, URBAN MINISTRIES.
>>WE STARTED 19 YEARS AGO THIS MONTH HERE.
THE INTENTIONS WERE TO BE ABLE TO REACH OUT TO INDIVIDUALS THAT WERE EITHER HOMELESS OR HUNGRY.
THERE IS MAYBE A PROBLEM WITH JUST BEING ABLE TO HAVE CLEAN CLOTHING TO PUT ON.
BASICALLY WHAT WE DO EVERY DAY IS WE PROVIDE A TRANSITIONAL HOUSING PROGRAM WHERE AT ANY GIVEN TIME THERE IS PROBABLY 100 TO 150 PEOPLE THAT MAYBE LIVING AT OUR FACILITY.
THEY ARE GOING THROUGH THE PROGRAM.
THEY HAVE TO GO TO CLASSES, IF YOU DON'T MIND PHILOSOPHICALLY, I COME FROM ONE OF THOSE IN A POOR COMMUNITY.
I HAVE BEEN IN PROGRAMS MY ENTIRE LIFE, AS AFRICAN AMERICAN, AS A POOR AMERICAN.
SOMETIMES WHAT I FOUND OUT, YEAR AFTER YEAR AFTER YEAR, TEN OR 15 YEARS LATER, THEY ARE STILL POOR, AND IN MANY CASES THEY ARE STILL LOOKING FOR HOUSING AND SOME OF THE SAME PROBLEMS ARE THERE.
WHAT WE TRY TO DO IS CHANGE THE MIND.
WE TRY TO WORK WITH THE INDIVIDUAL SO THEY HAVE A BETTER UNDERSTANDING WHAT IT IS BECAUSE YOU REALLY CAN'T TAKE A PERSON, PUT THEM IN A NEW HOME AND EXPECT THEM TO BE ABLE TO KEEP IT BECAUSE THEY NEVER HAD ANYTHING BEFORE.
WE TRY TO WORK AND START RIGHT THERE FIRST AND PREPARE THEM SO THEY ARE AT LEAST IN A POSITION WHERE THEY CAN BEGIN TO THINK ABOUT A HOME.
>>WHEN WE TALK ABOUT THE AFFORDABLE HOUSING PROBLEM, I THINK SOMETIMES WE END UP FOCUSING ON THE HOUSING PART OF IT AND NOT THE PEOPLE PART OF IT.
IF WE HAVE FOLKS WHO ARE PAYING 30% OR MORE OF THEIR INCOME FOR HOUSING, AND THERE ARE SOME PEOPLE WHO PAY EVEN MORE, AND IT DOES SEEM TO BE THE LOWEST INCOME FOLKS, MOST DISADVANTAGED RENTERS PAY THE HIGHEST PERCENTAGE OF THEIR INCOME FOR RENT.
DOES THAT SAY TO YOU THAT THIS IS THIS IS NOT REALLY A HOUSING PROBLEM, THAT THIS IS A DIFFERENT KIND OF PROBLEM?
IS THERE A POVERTY PROBLEM?
>> I THINK YOU HIT IT RIGHT THERE.
I THINK IT IS A POVERTY PROBLEM.
WE DON'T REALLY DEFINE WHAT POVERTY IS.
I THINK WHAT WE ARE SEEING RIGHT HERE IS YOU CAN TAKE A PERSON WHO HAS NO UNDERSTANDING, NO CONCEPT AND PLACE THEM BEVERLY HILLBILLIES
YOU CAN PLACE THEM IN A SITUATION WHERE THEY HAVE EVERYTHING THEY NEED, BUT THEY DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH IT WHEN THEY GET IT BECAUSE OF THEIR ENVIRONMENT AND WHERE THEY COME FROM. THEY COME FROM AN ENVIRONMENT WHERE THEY HAVE NEVER BEEN EXPOSED TO CERTAIN THINGS. WE EXPECT THEM TO BE GOOD NEIGHBORS.
THEY DON'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT BEING A NEIGHBOR.
THEY ARE TRANSITIONAL, MOVING ONE PLACE TO THE NEXT.
THEY GET IN TROUBLE BECAUSE THE MUSIC IS TOO LOUD OR THEY PUT THEIR TRASH OUT IN THE WRONG PLACE OR PARKED THEIR CAR IN THE WRONG PLACE.
THEY DON'T KNOW.
WE ASSUME THEY SHOULD BE ABLE TO KNOW IT BECAUSE WE KNOW IT.
>>I WANT TO BRING BRENDA KRAUSE EHEART IN THE CONVERSATION.
LATER, WE HAVE A PRODUCED REPORT ABOUT YOU AND ABOUT GENERATIONS OF HOPE IN RANTOUL, THE THING YOU HAVE BEEN INVOLVED WITH FOR A LONG TIME.
>>VERY LONG TIME.
(LAUGHING).
>>IN A COUPLE OF SENTENCES, WHAT IS IT THAT YOU HAVE BEEN TRYING TO DO?
I THINK YOU HAVE BEEN SUCCESSFULLY DOING IT IN RANTOUL NOW ALL THESE YEARS.
>>I THINK WHAT WE ARE DOING IS WE ARE BRINGING PEOPLE FROM ALL WALKS OF LIFE TOGETHER AND ALL AGES, GENERATION, IT IS CHILDREN, PARENTS, AND FAMILIES AND OLDER PEOPLE, TOGETHER TO REALLY FORM A COMMUNITY TO INITIALLY TO HELP THE MOST VULNERABLE AMONG US.
WHEN WE STARTED HOPE MEADOWS IN RANTOUL, IT WAS TO SUPPORT FAMILIES WHO WERE ADOPTING CHILDREN FROM FOSTER CARE, WHO NEEDED TO BE ADOPTED.
THEY COULDN'T GO BACK HOME.
THAT SITUATION TO SOME DEGREE, HAS CHANGED IN THIS STATE THANK GOODNESS.
BUT BACK IN THE EARLY 90'S, THE KIDS WERE POURING INTO THE SYSTEM.
THEN WE HAVE OLDER ADULTS WHO RETIRE THERE FROM ALL OVER THE COUNTRY AND GIVE US ABOUT SIX HOURS A WEEK OF VOLUNTEER TIME TO SUPPORT THE CHILDREN AND FAMILIES.
NOW, TWO THINGS HAVE HAPPENED, SOME OF IT I CERTAINLY WOULDN'T HAVE ANTICIPATED.
ONE, THE KIDS ARE GETTING OLDER AND HELPING THE SENIORS MANY OF WHOM HAVE BECOME MORE FRAIL AT THIS POINT.
THE OTHER THING HAPPENING AS WE HAVE GOTTEN MORE EXPOSURE TO WHAT WE ARE DOING, PEOPLE FROM ALL OVER THE COUNTRY ARE COMING TO US, WANTING US TO DO THIS FOR THE WOUNDED WARRIORS COMING BACK FROM THE WAR, WANTING US TO DO IT FOR BOOMERS WHO ARE RETIRING WHO HAVE ADULT CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES, WANT TO FORM A NEIGHBORHOOD WHEREVER ONE CAN SUPPORT EACH OTHER AND WHERE THEY CAN STAY AND HAVE A SENSE OF BELONGING.
I THINK ONE OF THE THINGS I THOUGHT WHEN YOU WERE TALKING IS ONE OF THE REASONS I THINK I AGREE WITH YOU, THESE PEOPLE DON'T HAVE REAL UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A NEIGHBOR, ETCETERA, BUT I THINK ANOTHER THING IS WHEN YOU DON'T HAVE THAT EXPERIENCE AT ALL, YOU ARE ONLY COMFORTABLE, JUST LIKE THE REST OF US WITH WHAT WE KNOW.
IF YOU DON'T KNOW ANY OTHER LIFESTYLE, BUT WHAT YOU HAVE HAD, IT IS VERY DIFFICULT TO CHANGE UNLESS YOU HAVE A LOT OF MENTORS. WE CREATE A WHOLE COMMUNITY OF 100 TO 150 PEOPLE WITH ALL KINDS OF MENTORS AND PEOPLE FROM DIFFERENT BACKGROUNDS SUPPORTING EACH OTHER.
>>IT IS A FABULOUS CONCEPT, AND I THINK THAT IF YOU THINK THAT PEOPLE BEING DIVIDED BY AGE, BY CLASS, BY RACE IS AN ISSUE, THEN I THINK YOU MADE SOME SERIOUS STEPS TO TRY TO ADDRESS THAT.
I REALLY DO.
>>THANKS.
>>THOM POLLOCK, WE HAVE ONE MORE PERSON I WANT TO INTRODUCE.
YOU HAVE DONE SOME REALLY INTERESTING THINGS IN DANVILLE, AGAIN, LATER WE WILL MAYBE GO INTO SOME MORE DETAIL ABOUT A PARTICULAR PROJECT YOU HAVE DONE, BUT TELL ME, AS SOMEONE WHO IS A DEVELOPER, HOW YOU THINK ABOUT HOUSING AND HOW YOU THINK ABOUT WHAT THE NEED IS.
>>WELL, INTRIGUED WITH THE TITLE "DEVELOPER."
I AM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF CROSSPOINTS WHO SERVES PEOPLE WITH MENTAL ILLNESS, DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES, WOMEN AND CHILDREN WHO ARE HOMELESS AND ARE EXPERIENCING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.
WHAT WE HAVE LEARNED IN WORKING WITH FOLKS IS THE THERAPIES AND MEDICATIONS CAN DO WONDERS, BUT IF YOU DON'T HAVE A SAFE, AFFORDABLE HOUSE TO LIVE IN, WITH GOOD NEIGHBORS AND ACCESS TO AMENITIES THAT WE ALL ENJOY IN THE COMMUNITY, YOU DON'T HAVE THE STABILITY TO SEE THROUGH YOUR RECOVERY.
SO IT HAS BECOME ESSENTIAL ELEMENT TO ACHIEVING RECOVERY FOR THE PEOPLE WE SERVE, THAT WE HAVE ALL RANGES OF HOUSES FROM 24 HOUR STAFFED SUPERVISED, TO COMPLETELY INDEPENDENT, INTEGRATED HOUSING IN THE COMMUNITY.
>> WE CAN TALK ABOUT THE WAYS IN WHICH GOVERNMENT, THE PRIVATE SECTOR TRIES TO RESPOND TO THIS NEED.
BUT LET ME COME BACK AGAIN TO JOHN BECAUSE I WONDER WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT HOW FAR A CITIZEN, NON GOVERNMENTAL KIND OF NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION LIKE HABITAT, CAN HOW FAR CAN YOU GO?
HOW MANY HOUSES CAN YOU BUILD?
I THINK FOR THOSE PEOPLE WHO SAY "WELL, THAT'S GREAT.
WE HAVE HABITAT FOR HUMANITY.
THEY ARE BUILDING HOUSES FOR PEOPLE."
WHAT CAN YOU REALLY EXPECT TO ACCOMPLISH?
>> WELL, NOT EVERYBODY IS FIT OR TO OWN A HOME IS A GOOD FIT FOR THEM.
SOME PEOPLE OWNING A HOME IS A LIABILITY AND A TROUBLE.
SOME FOLKS ARE JUST NOT IN A POSITION WHERE GETTING OUT CLEANING THE GUTTERS AND KEEPING THEIR YARD MOWED EVERY WEEK IS SOMETHING THEY ARE IN A POSITION TO FEEL GOOD ABOUT.
SO NOT EVERYBODY WOULD QUALIFY FOR OWNING A HOME.
NOT EVERYBODY WANTS TO OWN A HOME.
MY SISTER BOUGHT A HOUSE AND FOUND OUT AFTER THREE YEARS OF STRUGGLING WITH THE PIPES FREEZING IN THE WINTERTIME AND NOT BEING ABLE TO KEEP HEAT IN THE HOUSE AT THE RIGHT TIME, THAT OWNING A HOUSE WAS JUST NOT FOR HER.
SHE IS NOW LIVING IN AN APARTMENT AND HAVING A GREAT TIME.
>>THERE IS A GREAT NEED FOR FOLKS WHO ARE IN THAT POSITION WHERE THEY WOULD LIKE TO OWN A HOME.
THEY BELIEVE THEY CAN MAINTAIN A HOME, BUT FOR VARIOUS REASONS, EITHER THEIR CREDIT SITUATION OR THEIR INCOME SITUATION, JUST CAN'T GET OVER THAT HUMP TO WHERE THEY CAN BUY A HOME IN A CONVENTIONAL MANNER.
I THINK THERE IS A GREAT NEED FOR THAT IN DANVILLE AND VERMILLION COUNTY, BUT I THINK EVEN GREATER THAN THE NEED FOR PEOPLE TO GET THE OPPORTUNITY TO OWN THEIR OWN HOME IS THE MANY DILAPIDATED STRUCTURES THAT ARE IN THE CITY AND THE PEOPLE WHO ARE LIVING IN SUBSTANDARD CONDITIONS.
THAT'S ONE OF THE MISSIONS OF HABITAT TO ELIMINATE SUBSTANDARD HOUSING.
>>HOW MUCH OF A PROBLEM IS THAT, SAY, IN DANVILLE?
DO YOU HAVE A SENSE OF HOW MUCH HOUSING IN DANVILLE IS SUBSTANDARD?
>> IT IS SUBSTANTIAL.
SO MANY SO THAT THE CITY HAS TAKEN IT UPON ITSELF TO GO AFTER AND DEMOLISH MANY STRUCTURES THAT HAVE SIMPLY BEEN ABANDONED.
WHEN WE DID THE HOMELESS SURVEY IN JANUARY, WE FOUND SOME OF THOSE ABANDONED HOMES STILL BEING LIVED IN BY PEOPLE WHO TOOK THE INSULATION OUT OF WINDOWS AND DOORS TO HAVE A BED TO SLEEP ON AND KEEP WARM.
>>CAN YOU SAY SOMETHING ABOUT THE ISSUE OF SUBSTANDARD HOUSING IN CHAMPAIGN URBANA OR CHAMPAIGN COUNTY?
>> THERE IS DEFINITELY SOME IN CHAMPAIGN COUNTY, A LITTLE BIT IN CHAMPAIGN URBANA.
WE DO TRY TO WORK TOWARDS WORKING WITH LANDLORDS TO WORK WITH TENANTS ON KEEPING THE PROPERTY, YOU KNOW, THERE IS PROPERTY MAINTENANCE SO HOME OWNERS ARE ACCOUNTABLE FOR KEEPING THEIR PROPERTY UP.
DUE TO THE ISSUES WITH THE HOUSING CRISIS AND PEOPLE LOSING THEIR HOMES, NOW THOSE HOMES ARE VACANT.
YOU HAVE BANKS THAT OWN THEM AND THEY MAY NOT BE ON SITE OR IN THAT IN CHAMPAIGN URBANA, PER SE, TO SEE THE CONDITION OF THE HOME.
DUE TO SOME OF THE VACANCY, YOU HAVE THIS SPIRAL DOWN EFFECT OF THE PROPERTY NOT BEING MAINTAINED.
>> DO YOU HAVE A FEELING, BRENDA, FOR RANTOUL?
>> I HONESTLY DON'T HAVE A FEELING.
I KNOW AROUND THE BASE, A LOT OF THE HOMES HAVE DETERIORATED SINCE THE BASE CLOSED IN 1994.
>>I MENTIONED THAT WE HAVE A PRODUCED SEGMENT HERE THAT WE WILL SHOW YOU SOME OF WHAT THOM HAS BEEN INVOLVED IN OVER THERE IN DANVILLE, AND CERTAINLY ONE OF THE THINGS WE HEAR OFTEN IS THAT THERE IS A SERIOUS SHORTAGE OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING FOR RENTERS.
WE ARE TOLD THAT DEVELOPERS HAVE NO PARTICULAR INTEREST IN SERVING THAT MARKET.
BUT IN THIS SEGMENT, WE HAVE A STORY THAT SAYS THAT'S NOT ALWAYS THE CASE.
IT FEATURES ONE OF TONIGHT'S GUEST, THE REPORTER IS PAM DEMPSEY OF CU CITIZEN ACCESS.
THE CITY OF DANVILLE IN EAST CENTRAL ILLINOIS IS KNOWN FOR ITS MODEST COST OF LIVING.
ITS AFFORDABLE HOUSING PRICES ATTRACTED INVESTORS AND BUSINESSES LOOKING FOR LOWER RENTS.
STILL PEOPLE STRUGGLE TO FIND SAFE AND CLEAN AND SAFE PLACES TO LIVE.
77 YEAR OLD BARBARA DONALDSON MADE HER HOME AT THE NEW HOLLAND APARTMENT,
A FIVE STORY RENOVATED BUILDING IN DOWNTOWN DANVILLE.
>>I LOVE THIS MAJESTIC BUILDING.
I THOUGHT IN MY HEART, THIS IS WHERE I WANTED TO LIVE.
I DIDN'T TRY ANYWHERE ELSE, BUT I WAS ACCEPTED HERE AND HAVE BEEN LIVING HERE EVER SINCE.
>>DONALDSON QUALIFIED FOR FEDERALLY SUBSIDIZED RENT THAT HELPED HER AFFORD A ONE BEDROOM APARTMENT.
SHE IS ONE OF HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE ACROSS CENTRAL ILLINOIS WHO IS IN NEED OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING.
NEW HOLLAND APARTMENT IS ONE OF THE AREA'S NEWEST SOLUTIONS. HAVE ACCESS TO ANYTHING I NEED, YOU KNOW, FOOD.
GROCERY STORE IS A LITTLE WAYS AWAY.
POST OFFICE IS RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET.
THE LIBRARY.
THE ACCESS IS REAL NEAT.
>>NEW HOLLAND IS HISTORIC LANDMARK, AND HAS BEEN IN THIS COMMUNITY OVER A HUNDRED YEARS.
20 YEARS AGO IT WAS FALLING ON HARD TIMES.
OWNERS AT THAT TIME BASICALLY ABANDONED IT AND WAS PUT UP FOR AUCTION AS PART OF A FORECLOSURE PROCEEDING.
NO ONE BID ON IT, AND I CAME UP WITH THE NOTION OF PERHAPS WE COULD GET IT FOR SMALL AMOUNT OF MONEY.
>>TO SAVE THE BUILDING, POLLOCK BID ON THE PROPERTY AND CHECKED STATE, LOCAL AND FEDERAL TAX CREDIT TO TURN IT INTO A PRIVATE AFFORDABLE HOUSING PROJECT.
IT TOOK SIX YEARS AND SEVEN AND A HALF MILLION DOLLARS.
THE END RESULT IS NEARLY 50 RENOVATED APARTMENTS BE AND NUMEROUS AWARDS FOR ENERGY EFFICIENT DESIGNS SUCH AS GEOTHERMAL SYSTEM AND HISTORIC PRESERVATION.
>>AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN DANVILLE IS ONE OF TWO VARIETIES, DERELICT STRUCTURES THAT HAVE FALLEN ON DISREPAIR THAT ARE STILL SERVICEABLE FOR PEOPLE, AND, THEREFORE, FROM THAT STANDPOINT, AFFORDABLE.
BUT THE PROBLEM IS THE QUALITY IS LACKING ENTIRELY.
NOT ONLY IN THE INFRASTRUCTURE OF THE HOUSE, BUT JUST THE AMENITIES THAT GO ALONG WITH IT.
AFFORDABLE HOUSING SHOULD BE QUALITY HOUSING, SAFE HOUSING SOMETHING YOU AND I WOULD LIKE TO LIVE IN.
IN THIS CASE, THAT'S WHAT WE AIMED TO DO AT THE HOLLAND.
WE HAVE ACHIEVED THAT.
>>MY OPTIONS WOULD PROBABLY BE THAT I WOULD BE WITH ONE OF MY CHILDREN BECAUSE I DO HAVE CHILDREN THAT SAY WE WILL ALWAYS TAKE CARE OF YOU, MOTHER, BECAUSE YOU TOOK CARE OF US.
THAT PROBABLY WOULD BE ABOUT IT BECAUSE AT THIS POINT IN MY AGE AND SO FORTH, I AM NOT ABLE TO REALLY MAKE A LOT OF MONEY.
>> WELL, I AM INTERESTED IN HAVING YOU TALK A LITTLE BIT MORE ABOUT THIS PROJECT.
I KNOW THAT SOME OF OUR REPORTERS HAVE SEEN IT, AND SAY IT IS A LOVELY BUILDING.
CERTAINLY LOOK LIKE A LOVELY BUILDING.
I IMAGINE YOU FEEL GOOD ABOUT THE FACT IT IS STILL STANDING AND PEOPLE ARE LIVING THERE.
WE ARE VERY PROUD.
WHEN WE OPENED, WE CALLED IT DANVILLE'S NEWEST NEIGHBORHOOD BECAUSE 47 FAMILIES MOVED IN LITERALLY WITHIN FOUR MONTHS.
THE PRIDE WE TAKE IN IT EVERY DAY IS MAKING SURE THAT IT STAYS IN GOOD CONDITION FOR THE TENANTS AND THAT IS IMPORTANT.
GOOD AGGRESSIVE PROPERTY MANAGEMENT IS THE WAY WE HAVE SEEN IT STAY IN GOOD CONDITION.
>>WHAT WAS IT?
YOU OBVIOUSLY MUST HAVE SEEN SOMETHING IN THIS BUILDING A LOT OF OTHER PEOPLE DIDN'T.
>>WELL, I LOVE OLD STRUCTURES. SO THAT WAS THE START, AND THEN WHEN I GOT HOOKED, CROSS POINTS BOARD PRESIDENT SAID WE FELT IT LONG ENOUGH, YOU HAVE GOT TO DEVELOP IT.
I WAS FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO ASSEMBLE A VERY GOOD DEVELOPMENT TEAM AND GOOD FINANCING AND SEVERAL YEARS LATER, WE WERE ABLE TO OPEN, IN 2005.
>>WHY IS IT THAT MORE PROJECTS LIKE THIS AREN'T BEING DONE?
WHAT HOLDS PEOPLE BACK DO YOU THINK?
>> WELL, THERE IS TWO ISSUES, ONE IS THE FINANCIAL RETURN.
YOU ARE NOT GOING TO GET A MAJOR FINANCIAL RETURN ON THIS.
IN FACT, THERE IS NO BENEFIT TO US DIRECTLY BECAUSE THE RENTS PAY FOR THE MORTGAGE, DOESN'T GO INTO OUR EQUITY AT ALL, AND THE TAX CREDITS WHICH IS PRIVATE FINANCING, THE BENEFIT IS GOING TO THE INVESTORS.
BUT THAT'S HOW THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT PERMITTED US THEN TO ASSEMBLE THAT MUCH MONEY TO SAVE THAT BUILDING.
THERE WAS A GENTLEMAN I MET A NUMBER OF MONTHS AGO FROM DECATUR, A GENERAL CONTRACTOR THAT ONE DAY DECIDED HE WAS GOING TO STOP DOING GENERAL DEVELOPMENT AND DO DEVELOPING FOR HOUSING FOR VETERANS.
AND THAT IS HIS MISSION, AND THAT'S WHAT HE IS DOING.
YOU HAVE TO HAVE A MISSION DRIVEN NOTION TO BE ABLE TO DO THIS BECAUSE IT IS NOT EASY.
>> AND BRENDA SITTING NEXT TO YOU, SMILING AND NODDING.
I DON'T KNOW IS THERE ANYTHING YOU MIGHT WANT TO ADD.
>>WELL, I THINK I JUST HAVE TO SMILE, WHEN YOU SAY IT IS MISSION DRIVEN, AND IT IS NOT EASY!
(LAUGHING) I THINK THE WORK WE ARE DOING AND IT IS NOT ONLY HOUSING IS CRITICAL, BUT THE WORK WE ARE ALL DOING AND THE WORK YOU ARE DOING REVEREND WILLIAMS, BUT IT IS ALSO THE PEOPLE.
IT IS TRYING TO BRING THESE PEOPLE TOGETHER.
IT IS ALL OF THIS RELATED TO COMMUNITY, AND IT IS VERY HARD WORK.
YOU REALLY DO HAVE TO HAVE A PASSION FOR WHAT YOU ARE DOING.
>>SO FORTUNATELY IN A PLACE LIKE DANVILLE, WE HAVE OPTIONS LIKE THIS.
WE HAVE THE BUILDING THAT YOU HAVE, AND WE HAVE GROUPS LIKE HABITAT WHO ARE BUILDING HOMES FOR THOSE PEOPLE FOR WHOM THAT IS A GOOD FIT.
WE STILL YET CLEARLY HAVE A REAL NEED FOR HOUSING PARTICULARLY FOR FAMILIES AND PARTICULARLY FOR RENTERS.
I THINK THERE CERTAINLY IS A PRIVATE MARKET, MAYBE NOT ALL HOUSING IS PARTICULARLY DESIRABLE.
MAIN WAY WE HAVE ADDRESSING THAT IS EITHER WITH PUBLIC HOUSING, EITHER WITH THE HOUSING OWNED AND OPERATED BY HOUSING AUTHORITIES OR I THINK NOW INCREASINGLY WITH THE CHOICE VOUCHERS WITH THE THING WE CALL SECTION 8.
ALTHOUGH, THERE AGAIN, THE PROBLEM IS THE DEMAND IS ENORMOUS, FAR, FAR BEYOND THE ABILITY TO SATISFY.
THIS MORNING I WAS TALKING WITH THE FELLOWS AROUND THE HOUSING AUTHORITIES HERE IN CHAMPAIGN COUNTY AND IN DANVILLE, AND THEY HAVE WAITING LISTS OF HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE, ENOUGH TO TAKE THEM YEARS.
THEY COULD OPEN THE WAITING LIST FOR A WEEK, AND THEY WOULD HAVE ENOUGH PEOPLE THEY COULDN'T HOUSE THEM IF THEY WENT THE NEXT COUPLE OF YEARS.
WHAT IS THE PROBLEM HERE WITH PUBLIC HOUSING DO YOU THINK?
>> WELL, ORIGINALLY, AS I UNDERSTAND IT, PUBLIC HOUSING WAS SUPPOSED TO BE TRANSITIONAL.
IT WAS NEVER SUPPOSED TO BE PERMANENT HOUSING FOR ANYONE. OVER A PERIOD OF TIME WHAT WE STARTED HAVING, FROM MY PERSPECTIVE, IS GENERATION AFTER GENERATION, YOU HAVE MOM, GRANDMOTHER, AND GREAT GRANDMOTHER, AND THE NEW BABY, AND THEY WILL EVENTUALLY MOVE OUT AND GET THEIR OWN PLACE, BUT IT IS STILL WITHIN PUBLIC HOUSING.
SOMETIMES THEY ARE LIVING AND DYING AND HAVEN'T GONE BEYOND PUBLIC HOUSING.
WE HAVE LEARNED OVER THE YEARS, THAT IT WILL TAKE A LOT MORE THAN THAT.
YOU MET THE IMMEDIATE NEED, THEY ARE INDOORS, BUT YOU CAN'T STOP THERE!
A LOT OF TIMES WHAT WE ARE DOING IS FORGIVE ME FOR WHAT I AM GOING TO SAY, I THINK SOMETIMES WHAT WE HAVE DONE, A FEW YEARS AGO WE DID WHAT WE CALLED WELFARE REFORM.
WHAT WE DID, WE DID AWAY WITH WELFARE, STARTED A NEW PROGRAM WHICH WAS WELFARE, BUT WE CALLED IT ANOTHER NAME.
SOMETIMES WE ARE STILL DOING THAT IN A LOT OF WAYS BECAUSE THE WAY WE THINK ABOUT DEALING WITH THINGS IS WELFARE.
I THINK WE HAVE GOT A WELFARE MENTALITY.
WE HAVE GOT INDIVIDUALS HERE THAT NEED TO BECOME MARKETABLE.
THEY NEED TO BE ABLE TO STAND ON THEIR OWN FEET, AND THEY NEED TO HAVE A DREAM AND A VISION TO TAKE THEM FAR BEYOND WHERE THEY ARE.
THEY NEED TO HAVE A DESIRE TO GO GET A JOB, AND DESIRE TO KEEP THAT JOB, A DESIRE TO TEACH SOMETHING TO THEIR CHILDREN AND VALUES.
THOSE THINGS ARE IMPORTANT.
TEACH WORK ETHICS TO THEIR CHILDREN.
WE ARE COMING IN A GENERATION OF KIDS WHO DON'T WANT TO WORK.
WE ARE HAVING TO IF WE REALLY WANT TO WANT THIS THING TO WORK AND MEET THESE NEEDS WILL GO FAR BEYOND SIMPLY JUST PUBLIC HOUSING OR JUST HOUSING IN GENERAL.
AS BRENDA SAID, IT WILL COME BACK TO THE PEOPLE AGAIN, WORKING WITH PEOPLE, BUILDING PEOPLE, AND, TO ME, THAT'S THE CRITICAL PART OF THIS WHOLE THING.
SOMETIMES WE ARE AND WE DON'T STOP DOING WHAT WE ARE DOING.
WE CAN'T AFFORD TO STOP.
I LOVE THIS, BUT WE HAVE TO FIND PROGRAMS AND HELP BEGIN TO HELP PEOPLE TRANSFORM THE WAY THEY THINK SO THEY CAN GO OUT, THEY CAN BE MARKETABLE.
ALSO THEY CAN GO AND FEEL GOOD ABOUT WHO THEY ARE.
I SHOULD BE ABLE TO WALK THIS A PLACE, AND THE REASON WHY I NEED THIS HOUSE AND BE ABLE TO TELL YOU, AND THE REASON YOU SHOULD RENT THIS HOUSE TO ME BECAUSE I BRING THIS TO IT.
I THINK WHEN I MOVE OUT OF THIS HOUSE, IT WILL BE IN BETTER CONDITION WHEN I MOVED IN IT,
THAT KIND OF ATTITUDE, AND THAT KIND OF VALUE. AND I THINK IT IS KIND OF MISSING RIGHT NOW BECAUSE IT IS NOT GIVEN THE ATTENTION IT NEEDS.
>>WHERE DOES THAT COME FROM?
DOES THIS HAVE TO BE KIND OF A GRASS ROOTS THING, HAS TO COME FROM COULD BE A FAITH BASED ORGANIZATION, MAYBE NOT NECESSARILY, BUT SIMPLY SOMETHING THAT MAYBE GOVERNMENT CAN HELP PUT A ROOF OVER YOUR HEAD, BUT DOING ALL THOSE OTHER THINGS GOVERNMENT CAN'T DO THAT.
WHAT IS THE ROLE HERE FOR GOVERNMENT, AND IS IT REALLY LIMITED AND DOES IT HAVE TO BE PEOPLE BASED ORGANIZATIONS THAT REALLY HAVE TO COME IN?
>> I BELIEVE THAT IT STARTS WITH AN IDEA, A CHANGE IN SOMEBODY'S HEART.
THEY HAVE TO REALIZE THAT WHEREVER THEY ARE AT, WHATEVER SITUATION THEY ARE IN, THEY HAVE TO WANT TO GET BETTER.
WE HAVE GOT A HOME OWNER, I WON'T MENTION HER NAME FOR PRIVACY ISSUES, BUT SHE STARTED OUT IN PUBLIC HOUSING IN CHICAGO, HAD FOUR KIDS FROM FOUR DIFFERENT DADDIES.
AT THE BY THE TIME SHE HAD THAT FOURTH CHILD, SHE REALIZED, SOMETHING CLICKED INSIDE HER HEAD, AND SHE REALIZED SOMETHING NEEDED TO CHANGE.
SO SHE CALLED HER COUSIN, WHO LIVED IN DANVILLE, AND SAID "CAN I COME DOWN AND LIVE WITH YOU UNTIL I CAN FIND A JOB AND GET ON MY OWN TWO FEET AND PROVIDE FOR MY CHILDREN."
HER COUSIN SAID "COME ON DOWN."
BY THE TIME SHE GOT DOWN THERE.
HER COUSIN ALSO LOST HER PLACE TO LIVE.
THERE ARE THE TWO SINGLE MOTHERS TRYING TO FIND A PLACE TO LIVE AND A JOB TO BETTER THEMSELVES, AND THEY BOTH ENDED UP AT FAST FOOD RESTAURANTS WORKING MINIMUM WAGE AS MANY HOURS AS THEY COULD GET IN, BUT THE GAL THAT I AM SPEAKING OF HAD THAT DESIRE, THAT BURN INSIDE HER TO BETTER HERSELF.
FOR YEARS SHE STRUGGLED TRYING TO FIND A DECENT PLACE TO LIVE.
SHE MOVED FROM PUBLIC HOUSING TO ASSISTED SECTION 8 HOME, AND THEN FROM SECTION 8 HOME TO A REGULAR RENTAL HOME THAT WAS A HORRIBLE PLACE TO LIVE, BUT SHE WAS OFF OF GOVERNMENT SUBSIDY.
THAT WAS HER GOAL TO GET OFF GOVERNMENT SUBSIDY.
SHE HEARD ABOUT HABITAT AND THOUGHT "THIS IS MY CHANCE TO OWN MY OWN HOME
FOR ALL FOUR OF MY CHILDREN TO HAVE THEIR OWN BEDROOM."
I CAN TELL YOU SHE WAS THERE FROM DAY ONE, FROM THE TIME WE STARTED FUNDRAISING FOR HER HOUSE UNTIL THE DAY WE DEDICATED HER HOUSE, SHE WAS THERE EVERY DAY DOING WHAT SHE COULD TO MAKE THIS DREAM BECOME A REALITY FOR HER, AND SHE IS THRILLED TO BE OWNING HER OWN HOME.
>>THAT'S A WONDERFUL STORY.
I WONDER HOW MANY PEOPLE THERE ARE THAT COULD ACTUALLY DO THAT, BUT YOU CAN ONLY BUILD SO MANY HOUSES.
>>IT IS THE AMERICAN DREAM.
IT REALLY IS.
I THINK THE MORE PEOPLE THAT CAN CATCH THAT DREAM AND NOT BE STUCK IN THIS POSITION IN LIFE AND SAY "WOE IS ME."
I THINK THE MORE PEOPLE THAT CAN PICK THEMSELVES UP BY THEIR OWN TWO FEET AND TRY TO BETTER THEIR SITUATION, I THINK THERE ARE A LOT OF AGENCIES, GOVERNMENT AND NONPROFIT ARE FOR PROFIT, THAT CAN ALL WORK TOGETHER TO HELP THOSE KIND OF PEOPLE WHO WANT TO HELP THEMSELVES.
ONE THING I'D LIKE TO MENTION FROM PEOPLE WATCHING, WE ARE MIDWAY THROUGH OUR CONVERSATION HERE.
THERE ARE A LOT OF THINGS WE COULD TALK ABOUT.
ONE THING WE WANT TO MAKE SURE PEOPLE KNOW, ON OUR WEB SITE, THERE WILL BE INFORMATION ABOUT ORGANIZATIONS AND RESOURCES.
SO IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN THIS PARTICULAR ISSUE GO TO WILLCONNECT.ORG.
YOU MIGHT WANT TO GO TO ORGANIZATION, CU CITIZENS ACCESS.
THEY HAVE A LOT OF RESOURCES THERE.
AT THE CONCLUSION OF THE PROGRAM, OUR GUESTS WILL BE SCURRYING INTO A ROOM WHERE WE HAVE COMPUTERS SET UP, AND WE WILL DO ONLINE CHAT.
WE WANT THIS CONVERSATION TO CONTINUE, AND THIS IS THE WAY YOU CAN BE INVOLVED IN THE CONVERSATION. THERE AGAIN, GO TO OUR WEB SITE WILLILLINOIS.EDU AND YOU CAN BE A PART OF THAT CONVERSATION, AND SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH OUR GUESTS, AND THEY WILL REACT.
>> DO YOU FEEL ANY BETTER ABOUT SECTION 8 THAN ABOUT PUBLIC HOUSING?
HERE IS THE IDEA PEOPLE WE ARE GOING TO SAY TO THEM, IF YOU CAN GO AND FIND A LANDLORD WHO WILL ACCEPT THIS VOUCHER, WE WILL CONTRIBUTE THIS MUCH TOWARDS YOUR RENT AND YOU WILL BE CONTRIBUTING SOME OF IT YOURSELF AND THE HOPE IS THE IDEA OVER TIME, IT WILL BE LESS AND LESS OF THE VOUCHER AND MORE AND MORE PEOPLE WILL BE CONTRIBUTING TO THE RENT THEMSELVES.
SO THEY ARE RENTING AN APARTMENT, THEY HAVE THE SAME RESPONSIBILITIES AS ANY OTHER TENANT, THEIR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE LANDLORD SHOULD BE THE SAME AS ANY OTHER TENANT LANDLORD RELATIONSHIP. WE HAVE WAY MORE PEOPLE WHO WOULD WANT THEM THAN VOUCHERS.
DO YOU THINK THAT IS A SYSTEM THAT WORKS ANY BETTER?
>> YES, I PERSONALLY THINK IT IS GREAT.
THE FACT WE DO A LOT OF SCATTERED SITE HOUSING IS A BIG PART OF IT.
BECAUSE FOR YEARS, WHAT WE DID WE GROUND THEM TOGETHER.
WHATEVER NEGATIVE THERE, IT FED ON EACH OTHER.
NEGATIVE, AND NEGATIVE, AND WHAT WERE WE LOOKING FOR?
WHEN THINGS WENT SOUR, THEY POINTED FINGERS AND WERE ON THE NEWS, AND WE CREATED THAT SITUATION.
WHEN WE WERE BUILDING IT, WE WERE QUICK TO PAT EACH OTHER ON THE BACK.
DOWN THE ROAD, AFTER WE START SEEING WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN, IT IS "LOOK WHAT IS GOING ON OVER THERE."
WE PUSHED THEM INTO THERE.
THE SCATTERED SITE HOUSING IS THE BEST WAY TO APPROACH THIS.
I DO AGREE WITH SECTION 8 BECAUSE IT DOES GIVE THEM A CHANCE.
HE USED THE WORD SEVERAL TIMES USED, "COMMUNITY, COMMONALITY."
WE TEACH TWO THINGS AT RESTORATION, ONE IS COMMUNITY, EXCUSE ME, WE TEACH SELF SUFFICIENTLY, BUT WE ALSO TEACH COMMUNITY EFFICIENCY.
TEACHING THE COMMUNITY, ONCE AGAIN, HOW TO BE A REAL COMMUNITY, HOW TO BE INVOLVED IN THE LIVES OF THE OTHER PART OF THE COMMUNITY AND OTHERS THAT DON'T HAVE WHAT YOU HAVE, CAN'T TAKE IT FOR GRANTED.
HOW AS A COMMUNITY CAN HELP THEM.
EVERY INDIVIDUAL WITHIN THIS COMMUNITY SHOULD BE ABLE TO FIND SOME KIND OF HELP THAT WILL BRING THEM TO A PLACE OF SELF SUFFICIENCY AT SOME POINT.
>>TALK TO ME, BRENDA, ABOUT WHAT GOES INTO TRYING TO CREATE COMMUNITY?
I THINK THAT'S WHAT MAYBE IT IS SOMETHING IF YOU BRING THE PEOPLE TOGETHER, IT WILL HAPPEN.
NO.
IT IS SOMETHING TO YOU HAVE MAKE DELIBERATE EFFORT TO DO?
>> YOU DO.
ONE OF THE THINGS I THINK WE HAVE LEARNED WITH SEVERAL OF THESE COMMUNITIES NOW THAT WE HAVE AROUND THE COUNTRY IS THAT THEY HAVE A COMMON PURPOSE.
THAT'S WHAT BRINGS PEOPLE TOGETHER.
THE PEOPLE CAN COME TOGETHER IN RANTOUL.
IT WAS TO HELP SUPPORT FAMILIES ADOPTING CHILDREN FROM FOSTER CARE. EVERYBODY WHO CAME THERE, CAME THERE KNOWING THAT THIS WAS GOING TO BE EXPECTED OF THEM.
AND REGARDLESS OF RACE, REGARDLESS OF INCOME, SO I THINK THAT'S ONE OF THE THINGS.
THEN YOU HAVE TO HAVE WAYS TO THERE IS A WHOLE BUNCH OF THINGS WE HAVE LEARNED OVER THE YEARS IN TERMS OF COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES THAT BRING THE WHOLE COMMUNITY TOGETHER, AND NEIGHBORHOODS DO IT, FOURTH OF JULY PICNICS, PARADES, YOU KNOW, THE WINTER HOLIDAYS WHERE EVERYBODY COMES TOGETHER.
WE HAVE A COMMUNITY NEWSLETTER THAT GOES OUT EVERY WEEK.
EVERYBODY'S BIRTHDAY THAT WEEK IS IN THAT NEWSLETTER SO EVERYBODY KNOWS.
IT IS A BUNCH OF THINGS.
THEN, EVENTUALLY, RELATIONSHIPS FORM, SOMETIMES STRANGEST THINGS THAT PEOPLE REALLY FORM SOLID RELATIONSHIPS, AND THEN IT BEGINS TO HAVE A LIFE OF ITS OWN AND THAT'S WHAT YOU WANT.
>>LET'S GO THERE.
ONE OF THE THINGS WE CERTAINLY KNOW WE WANT FROM OUR HOMES, WE WANT OUR HOMES TO BE MORE THAN JUST ROOF OVER OUR HEADS.
WE ALSO WANT TO BE CONNECTED.
WE WANT TO BE CONNECTED TO OUR NEIGHBORS AND OUR COMMUNITY.
WE WILL TAKE YOU TO PLACE HERE WHERE PEOPLE HAVE COME TOGETHER TO FORM INTENTIONAL COMMUNITY TO SUPPORT ADOPTED FAMILIES OF FOSTER CHILDREN.
WE GET THE STORY FROM PAM DEMPSEY

>>SINCE THE 1990'S, RANTOUL HAS BEEN HOME TO HOPE MEADOWS FOR CHILDREN IN FOSTER CARE.
NOW KNOWN AS GENERATIONS OF HOPE, COMMUNITY IS 22 ACRES OF FORMER CHANUTE AIR FORCE BASE. IT OFFERS AFFORDABLE FOR SENIORS AND FAMILIES.
ELAINE GEHERMANN IS DIRECTOR OF GENERATIONS OF HOPE.
IT IS INTERGENERATIONAL COMMUNITY FORMED TO SUPPORT A FAMILIES OF FOSTER CHILDREN ADOPTIONS.
WE HAVE SENIORS THAT HELP SUPPORT THE FAMILIES AND ACT AS SURROGATE GRANDPARENTS.
CAROL VEIT, HER JOURNEY BEGAN TEN YEARS AGO AFTER READING ABOUT THE PLACE ON A SOUTHWEST FLIGHT.
>>THE AREA DIDN'T EXACTLY APPEAL TO ME.
IT COULD HAVE BEEN NEW ORLEANS, AND I STILL WOULD HAVE COME!
(LAUGHING) BUT THE PROGRAM, AND I LOVE KIDS AND I KNEW SOMEDAY I NEEDED TO RETIRE, BUT I DIDN'T WANT TO DO NOTHING.
THIS SOUNDED LIKE A NEAT ALTERNATIVE.
>>TWO YEARS AGO, CAROL LEFT HER HOME IN EL PASO, TEXAS, TO MOVE TO HOPE MEADOWS.
IN EXCHANGE FOR REDUCED RENT, SHE SPENT SIX HOURS A WEEK VOLUNTEERING IN THE COMMUNITY.
THIS MEANS HELPING IN THE AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAMS.
>>I COLLECTED TOYS AGAIN.
I LIKED TO DO THAT WITH MY OWN CHILDREN AND GOT TO DO IT AGAIN.
>>VEIT LOGS 100 HOURS A MONTH VOLUNTEER HOURS.
THIS ADDS TO THE SENSE OF COMMUNITY THAT EXISTS HERE.
KENNETH CALHOUN AND HIS WIFE, DEBBIE, WERE THE FIRST TO MOVE TO HOPE MEADOWS.
THEY ADOPTED EIGHT CHILDREN AND HAVE LIVED HERE 17 YEARS.
>>IT IS LIKE, AS YOU SAY, A LEAVE IT TO BEAVER COMMUNITY, YOU KNOW, I MEAN EVERYBODY LOOKS OUT FOR EVERYBODY.
WE DEFINITELY WE CORRESPOND WITH EACH OTHER.
THERE IS A LOT OF THINGS INVOLVED, A LOT OF PROGRAMS THAT WE DO TOGETHER.
WE COOK TOGETHER.
FOURTH OF JULY WE HAVE OUR ANNUAL PICNIC, AND THEN ON CHRISTMAS, WE HAVE OUR ANNUAL CHILI SUPPER.
AS RELATIONSHIPS HAVE DEVELOPED, SO HAS THE PROGRAM.
>> ADDITIONAL GOAL THAT HAS DEVELOPED OVER TIME IS TO HELP THE SENIORS CONTINUE TO AGE IN PLACE IN THIS COMMUNITY.
IT TURNS OUT THAT SENIORS RATHER THAN JUST COMING FOR A FEW YEARS AFTER RETIREMENT WHEN THEY WERE ACTIVE AND BUSY THIS HAS BECOME THEIR HOME AND THEY WANTED TO STAY.
WE HAVE A NUMBER OF SENIORS WHO HAVE BEEN HERE THE WHOLE 17 YEARS AND OTHERS HAVE COME OVER THE YEARS AND WANT TO STAY HERE UNTIL THE END.
TO THAT END, GENERATIONS OF HOPE WAS AWARDED STATE GRANTS TO BUILD HOPE HOUSE, UNIVERSAL ACCESSIBLE HOME TO HELP SENIORS LIVE OUT THEIR LIVES IN THE COMMUNITY.
BRENDA KRAUSE EHEART IS FOUNDER OF GENERATIONS OF HOPE AND WORKS WITH GROUPS TO HELP DEVELOP THE MODEL NATIONWIDE.
>>I CALL THIS THE SOCIAL ARCHITECTURE, VERSUS THE PHYSICAL.
AND AT HOPE MEADOWS, WE HAVE BEGUN TO LOOK AT BOTH OF THOSE THINGS BECAUSE THE SOCIAL ARCHITECTURE, MEANING HOW DO YOU DESIGN HOMES TO FACILITATE INTERACTS AMONG NEIGHBORS, FACILITATE RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN THE GENERATION IS SOMETHING THAT WE TAKE VERY SERIOUSLY.
>>HOPE HOUSE WAS DESIGNED TO BE THE CENTER OF THE COMMUNITY.
A MOVE TO RETAIN THE RELATION SHIPS THAT THE SENIORS HAVE BUILT OVER THE YEARS.
>> THIS NEIGHBORHOOD, YOU KNOW, EVERYBODY HAS THE SAME THING IN COMMON. WE ARE ALL ON THE SAME ACCORD, AND THE CHILDREN.
TO HERE, THERE IS A SENSE OF BETTER, YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN, SUPPORT AND CLOSER SUPPORT.
>>THE THING THAT MAKES THESE VERY DIVERSE COMMUNITIES WORK IS THAT THE PURPOSE OF THE COMMUNITY, AND SO THE PEOPLE AT HOPE MEADOWS WILL TELL YOU WHEN WHETHER IT IS FAMILIES OR OLDER ADULTS, AND NO MATTER HOW LONG THE OLDER ADULTS HAVE LIVED THERE, WILL TELL YOU WE ARE HERE TO HELP THE CHILDREN.
ALSO MUCH MORE IMPORTANTLY JUST BRINGS PEOPLE TOGETHER TO SUPPORT EACH OTHER, AND I THINK THOSE ARE THE KIND OF NEIGHBORHOODS WE REALLY WANT.
>>I THINK WHAT STRIKES ME ABOUT WHAT YOU HAVE DONE IS THAT IT IS NOT EXACTLY THAT YOU HAVE INVENTED SOMETHING NEW.
>>RIGHT!
(LAUGHING).
>>BUT YOU HAVE RECOVERED SOMETHING THAT IN MANY WAYS HAS BEEN LOST.
>>I THINK THAT'S TRUE.
AND I THINK I THINK ONE OF THE THINGS THAT IS MISSING IN A LOT OF CONVERSATIONS TODAY AROUND SOCIAL PROBLEMS, IF YOU WILL, IS THIS UNTAPPED RESOURCE OF THE BOOMERS RETIRING.
YOU SAW CAROL VEIT ON THAT VIDEO CAME FROM EL PASO.
WE HAVE HAD PEOPLE COME FROM ALL OVER THE COUNTRY BECAUSE THEY WANT THEIR RE THEY ARE RETIRING, AND THEY WANT MEANING AND PURPOSE.
NOW, BUILDING THE HOPE HOUSE THERE, AND IN PORTLAND, OREGON, WHERE THEY DESIGNED THIS COMMUNITY ON TWO ACRES OF LAND, INSTEAD OF 20 IN THE HEART OF PORTLAND, THEY DESIGNED HOUSING SO THE SENIORS CAN COME THERE AT 65, AND THEY CAN LIVE THERE AND BE PART OF THAT NEIGHBORHOOD UNTIL THEY ARE 95 AND PASS AWAY.
BUT IN ADDITION TO THAT, WE WANT EVERYBODY, THE CHILDREN, THE PARENTS, SENIORS, REGARDLESS OF THEIR AGE TO HAVE A SENSE OF MEANING AND PURPOSE IN THEIR LIVES.
SO I THINK ANOTHER THING THAT HAS HAPPENED WITH THE SUCCESS OF THIS WORK IS THAT WE HAVE NEVER WE HAVE TRIED VERY HARD NOT TO PATHOLOGIZE PEOPLE, NOT WE JUST LOOK AT THE KIDS AS IF THEY ARE OUR OWN CHILDREN.
WE LOOK AT THE OLDER ADULTS AS IF THEY ARE OUR PARENTS.
WHEN YOU START TO MAKE DECISIONS WHETHER IT IS THE SIZE OF A HOME, YOU KNOW, INSTEAD OF MAYBE 600 SQUARE FEET, MAYBE YOU CAN MAKE IT 750 BECAUSE THAT WOULD JUST MAKE IT A LITTLE BIT MORE COMFORTABLE IF IT WERE YOU OR DOING IT FOR YOUR PARENT.
WHEN YOU START THINKING ABOUT THAT, AND WHEN A WHOLE COMMUNITY COMES TOGETHER THAT WAY AND DOESN'T LOOK AT SOMEBODY, A WOUNDED WARRIOR AS ONLY IN TERMS OF HAVING A PHYSICAL OR MENTAL HEALTH ISSUE OR LOOKING AT A CHILD WHO SPENT A GREAT DEAL OF TIME IN FOSTER CARE AS A NEEDY CHILD, BUT LOOKING AT THEM AS YOUR CHILD THAT MAY HAVE SOME SPECIAL NEEDS.
IT REALLY DOES MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
WHERE YOU PUT HOUSING IS ANOTHER FACTOR WITH THIS.
HOPE HOUSE, WE PUT IN THE CENTER OF THE COMMUNITY RIGHT NEXT TO THE PLAYGROUND, RIGHT NEXT TO A COMMUNITY CENTER SO THAT EVEN WHEN THE OLDER ADULTS ARE IN WHEELCHAIRS, HOPEFULLY THEY CAN, IF THEY CAN'T GO INTO THE COMMUNITY CENTER, THE COMMUNITY CAN COME TO THEM.
SO I THINK THAT'S ALSO VERY, VERY IMPORTANT.
>>DO YOU THINK, CAN A CITY LIKE THE CITY OF URBANA, ARE THERE THINGS YOU THINK A CITY CAN LEARN FROM LOOKING AT THE KINDS OF THINGS THAT BRENDA IS DOING?
>> I THINK EVERYONE CAN LEARN FROM WHAT BRENDA HAS DONE!
THE PROGRAM IS AWESOME.
ONE STEP AT A TIME, WE CAN REALLY BEGIN TO TACKLE THE PROGRAM.
IT IS HARD TO SAY SPECIFICALLY IF A CITY CAN TAKE ON THAT THING.
EVERY MUNICIPALITY HAS ITS OWN RULES IT IS GOVERNED BY.
WHAT WE CAN DO, URBANA, WE DO ACTUALLY USE SOME OF OUR SOCIAL SERVICE OR OUR GRANT FUNDS TO HELP OTHER AGENCIES CARRY OUT SOME ACTIVITIES ON OUR BEHALF.
WE HAVE A LITTLE PARTNERSHIP WITH A LOT OF NON FOR PROFITS IN CHAMPAIGN PROVIDING SERVICES TO URBANA RESIDENTS TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THEM, FINDING AFFORDABLE HOUSING, OR JUST MEETING SOME OF THEIR BASIC NEEDS TO HELP KEEP THEM IN SOME OF THEIR HOUSING.
>>IS THERE SOME PARTICULAR EXAMPLE THAT YOU MIGHT GIVE THAT YOU WOULD THINK WHERE THAT WORKED PARTICULARLY WELL, YOU ARE PARTNERING WITH A NONPROFIT?
>> WE DO A SUPPORTIVE HOUSING GRANT.
ONE THAT WE WORK WITH SALVATION ARMY AND CENTER FOR WOMEN IN TRANSITION, PROVIDING THEM WITH OPERATING COST, SUPPORTIVE SERVICE COST, AND ADMIN TO IT, THEY CAN RUN THEIR HOUSING FOR TRANSITIONAL HOUSING PROGRAM SO IT IS SIMILAR TO WHAT I THINK THEY ARE DOING AT RESTORATION.
WHAT WE DO WITH OUR FIVE TRANSITIONAL HOUSES, JUST PROVIDING A PLACE WHERE CAN YOU WORK ON SELF SUFFICIENCY GOALS HOUSING FIRST AND TRYING TO HELP YOU GET SOME OF THOSE OTHER THINGS ACCOMPLISHED, A GOOD JOB, REINTEGRATING BACK INTO THE COMMUNITY, MAYBE BREAKING SOME OF THOSE HABITS WE WERE TALKING ABOUT BREAKING THAT CYCLE AND REALLY SHOWING THEM WHAT IT IS TO BE A GOOD NEIGHBOR, HOW TO PARTICIPATE IN THE COMMUNITY.
>>I AM CURIOUS WHAT HAPPENED IN NEW HOLLAND IN YOUR BUILDING. YOU HAVE 50.
>>47.
>>47 APARTMENTS.
HAVE RELATIONSHIPS FORMED AMONG THE PEOPLE WHO PREVIOUSLY DIDN'T NO ONE ANOTHER BUT NOW THAT THEY ARE LIVING TOGETHER IN THAT BUILDING THAT SOMETHING IS HAPPENING?
>> WELL, THEY FORMED THEIR OWN RESIDENT'S COUNCIL.
THEY HAVE PICNICS IN THE PARKING OR THE PARK THAT IS IMMEDIATELY SOUTH OF THE BUILDING.
THEY LOOK OUT FOR THE CHILDREN WHO ARE PICKED UP AT THE BUS AT THE FRONT DOOR.
THEY HAVE TAKEN TRIPS TOGETHER.
THEY FORMED A COMMUNITY BECAUSE, IN ESSENCE, THEY HAVE A BUILDING THAT IT THEY ARE PROUD OF AND IN EFFECT THEY NOW SEEM TO OWN, AND WE SORT OF WORK FOR THEM.
I THINK THE REVEREND TOUCHED ON IT.
BRENDA HAS TOUCHED ON IT. WE CAN BUILD THINGS, BUT IT IS THE PEOPLE INSIDE THAT MATTER, AN IT IS THE COMMUNITY THEY CREATE FOR THEMSELVES, THAT'S IF WE CAN FOSTER AND SUPPORT, WILL MAKE ALL THE DINNERS IN THE WORLD.
>>I STOLE THAT LINE THAT I USED IN THE INTRODUCING OF THE PROGRAM, BUT FORGOTTEN, THIS BEING THE FORGOTTEN HOUSING CRISIS, I STOLE IT BECAUSE I THOUGHT IT WAS SO GOOD.
IT LED ME TO THINK ABOUT HOW MUCH, NOT THAT WE SHOULDN'T HAVE BEEN, BUT HOW MUCH NEWS MEDIA TIME HAS BEEN SPENT ON THE PROBLEM OF THE COLLAPSE OF THE HOUSING MARKET, THE MORTGAGE CRISIS AND BANKING CRISIS.
THERE HAVE BEEN A LOT OF PEOPLE HAVE LOST THEIR HOMES AND THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO ARE HOMELESS BECAUSE OF THAT.
AND THERE ARE PEOPLE LIVING IN HOUSES THAT AREN'T WORTH WHAT THEY PAID FOR THEM.
THIS IS A SERIOUS PROBLEM.
SEWS RIPPLES WILL GO OUT FOR A VERY LONG TIME.
BUT HAVING SAID THAT, I THINK ONE OF THE THINGS WE ARE TRYING TO DO WITH A PROGRAM LIKE THIS IS TO SAY WELL THERE IS SOMETHING ELSE GOING ON HERE.
THERE IS ANOTHER KIND OF HOUSING PROBLEM.
AND THAT HAS TO DO WITH THIS VERY THING WE ARE TALKING ABOUT.
WITH DECENT AFFORDABLE HOUSING FOR PEOPLE WHO DON'T HAVE THE MEANS TO BUY A HOUSE, NEVER COULD EVEN THINK ABOUT IT.
AND YOU WILL GO BACK TO REVEREND WILLIAMS, HOW DO YOU THINK WE COULD WHAT COULD BE DONE TO GET PEOPLE TO REALIZE THAT THERE IS THIS OTHER KIND OF HOUSING CRISIS GOING ON AS WELL?
>>I AM NOT REALLY SURE WHERE TO START WITH A QUESTION LIKE THAT.
>> THINK ABOUT THAT BECAUSE
>>DAVID, I THINK ONE OF THE THINGS WE HAVE TO START DOING, AND REVEREND HIT ON THIS BEFORE A LITTLE BIT, WE SEGREGATE HOUSING.
SO YOU HAVE SECTION 8 HOUSING OR YOU HAVE THE PUBLIC HOUSING OR YOU HAVE WE SEGREGATE PEOPLE ACCORDING TO INCOME OR ACCORDING TO RACE OR, BUT IN TERMS OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING, OFTEN IN TERMS OF INCOME OR IN TERMS OF THEIR IF THEY HAVE GOT PROBLEMS.
WE CAN SEGREGATE THE MENTALLY ILL OR SEGREGATE PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES INTO GROUP HOMES.
ONCE YOU CAN BRING IF WE CAN FIND WAYS TO BRING PEOPLE TOGETHER, YOU REALIZE THAT WOULD HAVE A HECK OF A LOT MORE IN COMMON THAN WE DO THAT SEPARATE US, AND THEN WE GET TO KNOW THEM, AND THEN I REALLY HAVE SEEN THIS IN THESE COMMUNITIES, PEOPLE WANT WE AS AMERICANS, HONESTLY, WE REALLY DO WANT TO HELP OTHERS.
YOU SEE A CHILD, THAT NEEDS SOMETHING, YOU WANT TO HELP THAT CHILD OR AN ELDERLY PERSON.
IF YOU DON'T GET TO KNOW THESE PEOPLE, OR SEGREGATED AS YOU SAY, DON'T SEE THEM BE THAT'S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.
>>THAT STRUCK ME THAT'S A SERIOUS ISSUE.
EVEN IF WE ARE MOVING AWAY FROM THE KIND OF PUBLIC HOUSING WHERE THE HOUSING IS OWNED AND OPERATED BY HOUSING AUTHORITY, WHERE WE HAVE THE VERY PROBLEM THAT YOU TALKED ABOUT, WHERE WE ARE SEGREGATING OF WE ARE ISOLATING PEOPLE.
WE ARE PACKING THEM ALTOGETHER MANY SO IF WE MOVE FROM THAT TO A THING WHERE IT SAYS "HERE IS A VOUCHER, IF YOU CAN FIND SOME PLACE YOU CAN AFFORD ON THIS, HERE IS A VOUCHER.
GO OUT AND FIND IT."
IT GIVES THE POSSIBILITY WE WILL BUILD MORE DIVERSITY IN OUR COMMUNITIES.
I WONDER HOW MUCH CHOICE PEOPLE REALLY HAVE BECAUSE, AFTER ALL, YOU HAVE TO FIND A WILLING LANDLORD.
YOU HAVE TO FIND A PLACE THAT WITH THAT VOUCHER AND WHATEVER ELSE YOU CAN PULL OUT OF OUR OWN POCKET YOU CAN AFFORD.
ARE WE STILL IS SEGREGATION STILL GOING ON?
>> I THINK IT IS IMPROVING.
IT IS REALLY HARD TO SAY.
WE DO HAVE BROKEN DOWN SOME OF THAT STIGMA OF THE PUBLIC HOUSING.
WE KNOW THIS HIGHRISE EVERYONE THERE HAS PUBLIC HOUSING.
SCATTERED SITES HAVE REALLY HELPED IMPROVE THAT.
EVEN WITH THE FIVE HOMES WE HAVE THROUGH THE CITY OF URBANA, THEY ARE SCATTERED THROUGHOUT IN DIFFERENT COMMUNITIES, YOU WOULDN'T KNOW IT IS A HOUSE WE OWN FROM ANY OTHER HOME.
BUT SOME OF THE THINGS WHEREAS IF THEY HAVE NOT LEARNED NECESSARILY HOW TO BE GOOD NEIGHBORS, SOME STIGMAS MAY FORM BY THE TRASH ISN'T WHERE IT IS SUPPOSED TO BE.
YOU HAVE TOYS ALL IN THE YARD.
SO IT IS IMPROVING.
I HAVE HOPES IT CAN CONTINUE TO GET BETTER IF WE CONTINUE TO WORK AND HAVE DISCUSSIONS LIKE THIS AND BRING THE RIGHT PEOPLE TO THE TABLE AND WORK WITH AGENCIES WHO CAN HELP WORK WITH THEM ON SELF SUFFICIENT GOALS.
>>COULD I SAY, TOO, I THINK WHEN WE WERE WHEN WE HAD THE STOP SMOKING CAMPAIGN, IT WAS ON EVERYTHING.
WHEN WE DEALT WITH SOME OF THOSE OTHER ISSUES, BREAST CANCER, YOU CAN GO DOWN THE LIST, I MEAN IT GOT OVER PUBLICIZED.
IT WAS EVERY WHERE ON EVERYTHING.
IT WAS ABOUT EDUCATING THE COMMUNITY TO THINK DIFFERENTLY REGARDING THESE THINS.
IT IS GOING TO COME TO THAT SAME THING IN DEALING WITH THE COMMUNITY, WITH THE LANDLORDS AND OTHER AGENCIES AND GROUPS, TOO, THAT RECOGNIZE, YOU GOT TO EDUCATE PEOPLE.
YOU HAVE GOT TO TEACH THEM SOMETHING DIFFERENT HERE.
SO AS A COMMUNITY, WE COME TOGETHER AND WE ATTACK THIS THING HERE.
>>I THINK NOT ONLY DO WE NEED TO COME TOGETHER AS A COMMUNITY OF PEOPLE AND MAYBE TRY TO WALK ACROSS DINNER WALKS OF LIFE OR DIFFERENT COLORS OF SKIN, BUT I THINK, ALSO, NON PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS NEED TO BE ABLE TO WORK WITH FOR PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS, WHO NEED TO BE ABLE TO WORK WITH GOVERNMENT ENTITIES, WHO NEED TO BE ABLE TO WORK WITH PRIVATE INDIVIDUALS AND WORK WITH ALL OF US WORK TOGETHER FOR A COMMON GOOD.
I BELIEVE THAT ALL OF THE AGENCIES REPRESENTED HERE HAVE SOMETHING TO BRING TO THE TABLE AND WORKING TOGETHER, WE CAN TACKLE THIS PROBLEM.
>>IF THAT HASN'T HAPPENED, IS IT BUREAUCRACY?
IS IT PEOPLE SORT OF SPEAKING DIFFERENT LANGUAGES?
IN THE BUREAUCRATIC SENSE, IS IT THE FACT MAYBE DIFFERENT ORGANIZATIONS HAVE DIFFERENT PRIORITY OR PUBLIC PRIVATE SECTOR, PUBLIC SECTOR, PEOPLE HAVE A HARD TIME TALKING TO EACH OTHER BECAUSE THEY HAVE DIFFERENT MIND SETS.
>>I THINK YOU SAID EARLIER IF YOU GIVE THE PERSON THE SECTION 8 CHOICE VOUCHER, THEY CAN LIVE ANYWHERE. THEY TAKE THEMSELVES WHEREVER THEY GO, AND AS THE REVEREND POINTED OUT, IF WE DON'T INVEST IN PEOPLE IN THEIR LIVES, THEY WILL STAY THE SAME.
SO WE HAVE TO TAKE CARE OF THE HOUSING WHICH IS THE BRICKS AND MORTAR. BUT WE ALSO HAVE TO TAKE CARE OF THE PEOPLE AND GIVE THEM EXPECTATION BEING WELL NOT GIVE THEM EXPECTATIONS, HOPEFULLY THEY HAVE THEIR OWN, BUT THEN THEY ARE GOING TO NEED A JOB.
THEY ARE GOING TO NEED ACCESS TO EDUCATION.
THEY ARE GOING TO NEED A NUMBER OF THINGS SO THAT THEY CAN REACH FOR THE DREAM THAT JOHN HAS BEEN TALKING ABOUT.
>>HOW DO WE DO THAT, THOUGH?
ABOUT.
>>ONE STEP AT A TIME, ONE DAY AT A TIME!
(LAUGHING).
>>THAT JUST SEEMS TO BE SUCH A DIFFICULT THING.
I DON'T KNOW IF WE EVER REALLY WAS THERE A TIME WHEN WE WERE BETTER AT IT AND WE JUST SORT OF FORGOT HOW TO DO THAT?
OR TRULY HAVE PEOPLE BECOME SO ISOLATED FROM EACH OTHER IT IS GOING TO TAKE DELIBERATE EFFORT TO BRING PEOPLE BACK TOGETHER AGAIN?
>> WE ARE GOING TO HAVE TO CREATE SOME KIND OF SPACE WHERE PEOPLE CAN COME TOGETHER.
THIS I GUESS RELATING TO OTHER GROUPS LIKE US, PART OF IT, TOO, WE WILL HAVE TO RECOGNIZE EVERYONE HAS TO COME TO THE TABLE, FAITH BASED ORGANIZATIONS ARE GOING TO HAVE TO BE SEEN, AS CREDIBLE AND ABLE TO BRING WHAT THEY DO TO THE TABLE AND BE TAKEN SERIOUS.
SO MANY TIMES I HAVE GONE TO MEETINGS, AND I AM EXPECTED TO BE A SOCIAL SERVICE AGENCY.
I SAY, NO, NO.
NO, NO.
THIS IS WHAT I AM, AND ACCEPT ME FOR WHAT I AM AND WHAT I CAN DO AND NOT TRY TO CHANGE ME AND MAKE ME FOR SOMETHING ELSE SO IT FITS YOUR MODEL. HERE IS WHAT I AM.
HERE IS WHAT I BRING.
IS THAT ACCEPTABLE?
WELL, IT WOULD BE, BUT YOU ARE FAITH BASED.
>>YOU REALLY HAVE FACED THAT?
>> QUITE OFTEN.
QUITE OFTEN.
PROBABLY EVERY FAITH BASED ORGANIZATION WILL TELL YOU THEY HAVE RUN ACROSS IT QUITE A BIT, TOO.
WE HAVE TO SOMEHOW GET PAST THAT HURDLE.
WE HAVE 160 OR 170 CHURCHES IN THIS COMMUNITY WHO SHOULD BE INVOLVED IN WHAT IS GOING ONL THEY ARE PARISHIONERS.
THEY NEED TO BE AT THE TABLE.
>>I THINK FOR RIGHT NOW, FOR US, AT THIS TABLE, THAT IS WHERE WE ARE GOING TO HAVE TO LEAVE IT WITH MUCH, MUCH MORE TO BE SAID.
WE DO WANT THIS CONVERSATION TO CONTINUE, AND WE WANT TO INCLUDE YOU.
YOU ARE INVITED TO TAKE PART IN A LIVE ONLINE CHAT ON THE ISSUES WE HAVE BEEN DISCUSSING TONIGHT.
GO TO OUR WEB SITE WILL.ILLINOIS.EDU.
>>WE WANT TO THANK OUR GUESTS WHO WILL BE TAKING PART IN THE CHAT.
A SPECIAL THANKS TO PAM DEMPSEY FOR HER HARD WORK ON THIS PROGRAM.
THANKS VERY MUCH FOR WATCHING.
GOOD NIGHT.
>>

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