Saturday, June 20, 2009

CityWalk, Meeting the Residents

Last Friday, we began interviewing the first residents of CityWalk. This is an informal, first interview, our property management firm will do the real work of qualifying the tenants. We wanted to begin meeting the people who will live at CityWalk so we could answer their questions, start to know them, and know how we could best serve them. So we have asked all prospective tenants to do an interview with us before meeting with property management.

All three of the tenants we interviewed were women, one Anglo, one Hispanic and one African-American. Each of them had a story. One woman was a victim of domestic violence and, after a very difficult divorce, had been living in a shelter for a year. Most amazingly, her daughter had survived all this difficulty and is only one year away from graduating from college.

A second woman had had addiction problems, and was just now getting back on her feet after going through treatment at a well-known and well-regarded local nonprofit. When she left her previous life to get into treatment, she had broken a lease at the apartment where she had been living, so she needed help finding a place to live.

The third woman was caring for a developmentally disadvantaged daughter. She needed safe, inexpensive housing so that she could move herself and her daughter away from their current substandard, dangerous living situation.

I wish all of you who have worries about the danger the residents at CityWalk might present to the neighborhood, or have questions about whether the housing we provide is needed had been able to meet these women. Your questions would have been answered.

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