Letter to the editor: Housing hopes

To the editor:

Housing changes lives. Changed lives change communities. Changed communities change the world. This, my friends, is hope. On Oct. 30, I attended a Lawrence community event about affordable housing and I heard a young woman’s story of hope. She was homeless just one year ago, and had given up on school because she had no place to study. It all seemed pointless to her. Then, thanks to the La Salle Street demonstration project and the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, her family got the chance to pay rent they can afford. That young woman’s life has since turned around. She’s now preparing to go to college. She dreams of becoming a nurse.

People without housing hope for modest things. A stove on which to prepare a meal of their choosing, a table at which to gather with family, a home in which to find stability. Most of us take these things for granted every day. Yet our dreams can — should — be bigger than this.

The affordable housing vote should not be solely transformed into a debate about plans, politics or philosophies. These are important questions, yes, but let’s not forget that elemental human emotion: hope. This vote has the power to give hope — hope that lives, communities, and the world around us can change for the better.

My prayer is that this city will dream big and bring hope to those who suffer by voting yes for affordable housing on Nov. 7.