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A measure of community
March 11, 2014

David Lima, a Beacon board member, recently addressed a group of Families Moving Forward volunteer leaders at an annual dinner and training. Here is an excerpt of his thoughts about the connection between our values of home and our sense of community.  

Now I want to draw your attention to the postcards on your tables. Earlier in the evening, you were asked to write down three words about what home means to you. We have created these word maps to remind ourselves what we, the Host Coordinators of Families Moving Forward, think home means to us. [See the word cloud image above.] These cards describe what we hope to provide to others. I am proud of the work WE all do to end homelessness. Please put these cards in a spot where you will see them every day to remind you of the good you are doing for our community.

When social researchers ask what people are least satisfied about in these modern times, one of the things most people mention is the lack of a sense of community. Our busy, hectic lives don’t mix well with the building of relationships that is required for someone to feel a part of a community. However, spend an evening or a week with a family in crisis, and you will have added them to your community, whether you planned to or not. That fact is evidenced by the number of inquiries we get about a family after they have cycled out of FMF, out of crisis, and on with their lives. You all still care about them once they have left your protection… a true measure of community. I urge you to extend that community among those you have met tonight. Keep in touch – help each other, you will all be better for it, for creating community with your fellow soldiers in the fight to end homelessness. 

[Ed. note: If you'd like to share three words for home and join the Beacon Citizens campaign you can do so online.]

David Lima
David Lima is senior group counsel, Target Corporation, a volunteer member of the board of Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative, chair of the Families Moving Forward Leadership Committee, and a member of Colonial Church of Edina.