Grateful You’re Here
Grateful You’re Here
Grateful you’re here is one of the first things folks see when they enter the kitchen at 41 Mahaiwe which is home to Construct’s Transitional Housing. That’s the message we want everyone to receive who crosses Construct’s threshold in any way. We know that COVID-19, historic and acute marginalization, living with low income or in poverty are just some of reasons why this message of welcome is at the core of Construct’s vision, mission and identity.
When the historic effects of violence against people of color are brought into such tragic view as they’ve been far too many times in recent memory so as to choke off life, it should and does take our breath away too. We know, as we have suspected all along, that welcome and service are not enough. Homes our neighbors can afford lose their meaning when violence, disparate access to healthcare and the ability to safely stay home or be at home in our neighborhoods causes almost all of us to react: Some of us to rise up, Some of us to be paralyzed; Some of us to speak, Some of us to remain silent.
At Construct we cannot be silent when lives are at stake. We take action by ensuring our homes are accessible to neighbors who need it most and have the most difficulty securing it. We further fair housing with each project, vacancy, intake and interaction as best we can. Our COVID-19 Rental Assistance has helped more brown and black families than any other demographic in the first 30 days. It’s clearly not enough.
We invite you, our south Berkshire community to work with us to support the organizations that lead the way in our community: Multicultural Bridge, The NAACP, The historic Black Churches and Berkshire Immigrant Center. Yes, support Construct to help our neighbors have a safe home, a refuge, a place to breathe. But join us in working with our community to make it just as safe to go out our doors, to walk or drive through all neighborhoods and to feel just as at home with neighbors across lines of difference as we do with those who look most like us.
When we are reminded again that it is not just fair housing, equal employment and access to education but the very ability to breathe that is at stake for brown and black families, we’ve got to say enough and keep saying enough until the violence in all its forms stops. To that end, I encourage you to visit A Call to Men. It’s committed to help create a world where all men and boys are loving and respectful and all women and girls are valued and safe. If we can make that happen, our neighborhoods, homes and country would be much safer for the black lives at the center of this broken system, those charged to protect and serve and all our neighbors.