Community organizing looks like many different things. The reason for this is that community organizing depends on relationship building. Sometimes, this looks like a group of people doing fall yard work.
Through SWOP’s partnerships with United Power for Action and Justice and Ascension Parish, Nick Brunick became a supporter of SWOP. Nick is an attorney at Applegate and Thorne-Thomsen (ATT) which focuses on affordable housing and community development. So Nick connected ATT with SWOP.
Now ATT is sponsoring the rehab of a vacant property on Maplewood. ATT gathered together members of their firm and their families to spend their Saturday with SWOP. They learned more about the work of SWOP and gave their time and energy as well.
The group from ATT began by learning about the two phases of the Reclaiming Southwest housing project. SWOP staff showed the volunteers maps demonstrating the impact of SWOP’s work. For example, within the first target area, vacant properties dropped from 93 to 8 since 2012. SWOP staff also described how housing work is intertwined with education initiatives and building community safety.
Then it was time for some yard work and demolition! The ATT group helped clean up the property on Maplewood by picking up trash and trimming weeds in the yards. Inside, they helped demolish parts of the kitchen.
The ATT group also toured a fully-rehabbed building that is ready to be sold. This tour gave them a vision to what their work is contributing.