Inez Robb: When the City came to us about creating a Resiliency Hub — where people can go to get what they need in the face of all kinds of hardship — I thought this church would be a perfect place. We’ve been doing this kind of work for years. If the community needs something, they know they can come to the church. It’s where you can go to get job training, expungement, senior services, health services, you name it. People come and say “I can’t get a job” — and they find jobs from the information we give them. They say “I can’t vote” — yes you can … here’s how.
Roxane Prettyman: When the chance came to create a Resiliency Hub, it was a way to bring together all the tireless work we do out of our church. We have a soup kitchen, fresh fruits and vegetables coming in from the Maryland Food Bank, a clothing drive for folks who need to suit up for interviews. There’s Narcotics Anonymous meetings, movie nights for the youth, even back-to-school health fairs where we provide hundreds of backpacks full of school supplies.
Inez Robb: When I think about “resilience,” about “sustainability,” I think about all the things we need to SUSTAIN our communities and our lives. Sustainability is inclusion; it’s commitment, involvement, equity, helping each other, everything we need for a better life — whether that’s food, education, family, engagement, or even the police treating people right. It’s about knowing and loving each other unconditionally. Doesn’t have to be family, doesn’t have to be anybody I know, but to love you unconditionally. And if we can do that … what would this world be like?
Roxane Prettyman: People want to move forward — that’s what they tell us. Some of these folks are parents — they might even be in NA. They say “I’m struggling, I’ve got these children, I don’t know what to do.” So we say drop off those kids here and go do your job search, find a suit that fits from our clothes drive so you can go neat and clean to your interview while your children are being cared for. People are in need for a whole range of reasons; what they need is an open door. That’s what we provide here — a way to move forward.
– Inez Robb is President of the Western District Community Relations Council, Inc., and of the Fulton Community Association
– Roxane Prettyman is Vice-President of the Western District Community Relations Council, Inc., and of the Fulton Community Association, and Community Outreach Director for First Mount Calvary Baptist Church
Photo by New Lens Productions.
The #EveryStory Counts Campaign
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