Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Leading by Example

Last night was yet another example of how resilient the Sheraden community really is.

It seems like a simple action: invite a few familiar faces to your home for snacks and conversation. But it's actions like this that can transform a neighborhood into a community. The motivation was obvious. Who doesn't want to live near neighbors you know and trust?

Encouraged by the potential she sees in her neighborhood, Debra Bailey (a resident, homeowner, and executive board member of the newly formed West End Alliance) graciously opened up her living room to 3 other women serious about investing in Sheraden. Along with staff from NeighborWorks and PCRG, the next hour and a half was spent discussing everything from homeownership to personal finances to some of the challenges that exist in the neighborhood and how residents can start to address them.

When it comes to neighborhood revitalization, such simplicity is easily and often overlooked, but the leadership and initiative that Miss Debra showed last night is critical to such efforts.

As she puts it, "this is my home, and I'm NOT going anywhere!"
This is Sheraden's story - Leadership, Initiative, Dedication, Resilience.

1 comment:

  1. As a resident in neighboring McKees Rocks, my partner and I know your pain when it comes to loving where you live but being overwhelmed by community issues that are less than pleasant.

    We bought here in 2010, and have since completed a full renovation of our 1910 home. It's been quite a task - but oh, so worth it! In the process, we became quite frustrated with the lack of care that other nearby residents show for the neighborhood, mainly in the form of continual littering and lack of pride in their homes' appearance, landlords/property owners that blatantly neglect their properties, etc. Pretty basic things, really. Or so you'd think! Long story short, we're really proud that you folks in Sheraden are doing this. It's been long overdue...not only for your community but many others as well.

    My partner and I *regularly* clean out our gutters and pull weeds and pick up litter along our end of our street (Woodward Ave) and several others around us, in the hopes that our goodwill and concern for a healthy, clean environment will "rub off" on at least a few others. So far, nothing. People drive by and throw their garbage out their windows right in front of me! They don't care. In fact, sometimes it seems almost hateful. I don't get where people here were taught that it's okay to do that - but it sure seems to be a regional issue, not just a neighborhood one.

    We continue to trudge on. However, it won't last forever. It's been 3 years and we've seen none of our other neighbors exhibit even an ounce of gumption or energy to get up and come out and help us - even once in a while. Everyone has their breaking point.

    I think your efforts and generosity will not go unnoticed. Keep up the good work, and GO SHERADEN! You have some amazingly beautiful homes over there. We've looked several times.

    Rob Doerr
    McKees Rocks, PA