Our #CommonGroundCLE Conversations guest blog series showcases groups across Cuyahoga County hosting community conversations July 30 as part of our Common Ground initiative. Find out what Neighborhood Solutions is planning for their Common Ground conversation in this guest blog from the organization.
Neighborhood Solutions invites you to participate in a Common Ground conversation on how to make our communities desired destinations. The conversation will take place from 2 – 4 p.m. at the Vineyard and Winery of Château Hough.
We at Neighborhood Solutions believe that communities are rebuilt from the grassroots up. The strategies which aid those most in need — those most at risk of falling through the frayed social safety net — must be developed to meet these individuals where they are, extend to them a helping hand, and, in the words of W.E.B. Du Bois, “lift them up to our vantage ground.”
Our conversation, by necessity, must focus on soberly identifying the problems of our neighborhoods so that we might adequately devise solutions that address these challenges. And for challenged communities the primary concern is making people feel safe in their persons and property. Indeed, unless this critical issue is confronted, discussed, and solutions formulated, all subsequent issues will continue to pale by comparison. Safety is primary.
The “common ground” those residing in eastside inner city communities share with all other communities around the region and county is a desire to move forward and become stronger. With that said, residents of historically disadvantaged areas of the city have to initially focus their conversations on and around poverty, which is the primary driving force behind crime, which, in turn, impacts public safety – in perception as well as in reality.
It is for that reason our organization has elected to focus on wealth building. After publishing a magazine for a number of years that went into prisons in the state and around the country that encouraged prisoners to utilize their time behind bars wisely preparing for life after prison, we took the opportunity to start a business that would aid them upon their release, since we knew which communities they would be returning to.
Our vineyard was built by men from a nearby halfway house (many of whom have gone on to secure decent jobs and start their own businesses) and we now focus on “pre-entry” … devising strategies to prevent at-risk young people from falling through societal cracks and engaging in lives of crime.
Our overarching goal is to utilize the strengths and resources found in our community – to leverage them and make our neighborhoods desired destinations, rather than places of desolation that people want to escape from.
Common Ground: Neighborhood Solutions at the Vineyards & Winery of Château Hough
Hosted by Neighborhood Solutions
Vineyards & Winery of Château Hough: 1650 E. 66th St., Cleveland, Ohio, 44013
2 – 4 p.m.