Letter to the editor: Caring neighbors

To the editor:

On March 27, the Journal-World editorial staff asked Lawrence to “think more broadly about affordable housing.”

On Wednesday evening, a full auditorium at the Lawrence Public Library did just that. Well over 100 Douglas County residents gave over two hours on a beautiful spring evening to learn, ask probing questions and propose tangible steps toward providing affordable housing and preventing homelessness in our communities.

The energy for taking real action was palpable.

Overheard: “We in this room can make a difference! We can be the army to make this happen.”

Also, “We are sitting in a library that started with just this kind of conversation 10 years ago. We did that; we can do this.”

And, “It was great to learn that other communities are really solving this. If they can, we can.”

I am so proud to call these people neighbors. Their determination was infectious, just as our local nonprofits and housing authority were inspiring. Stories of uplift and change were everywhere, along with the clear potential to do (much) more and proven models to succeed.

The lovely Christina Gentry reminded us why: because children and families and futures are at stake.

Huge thanks to Douglas County Community Foundation for listening and leading and to the Lawrence Journal-World, Hall Center for the Humanities, Lawrence Public Library and The Merc for helping to make it happen.

Nancy Jackson,



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