Maintaining a strong community is a vital part of living a healthy life, but physical space for those communities to develop is often lacking in underserved parts of our country. Here’s a great story of a nonprofit and a community in California that dedicated a lot of work (and very little money) to creating a space where they can gather and get to know one another. St. Anthony’s park was built in a trailer-park neighborhood by a group of low-income farmworker families with the help of the non-profit Kounkuey Design Initiative (KDI), a nonprofit that works with impoverished communities to develop spaces that improve their lives. In her New York Times article, Patricia Leigh Brown writes:
Since the park opened in the spring, hundreds of people — residents and their guests — have used it, including friends and family from outside St. Anthony’s. There have been baptisms and musical serenades, after-school computer lessons and community meetings. Ms. Mandujano reported that her daughter Ashley, 9, had already met a “BFF” (best friend forever).”
The St. Anthony’s community advocated for itself and was an integral part of the design process with KDI, helping create a space that they could really use. Though it took a lot of hard work and motivation, this is an inspiring example of how relatively easy it is to bring people together.
PHOTO: Courtesy Kounkuey Design Initiative
Out of Desert Dust, a Miracle on a Shoestring via NY Times