Since the summer of 2012, about 100 new folks have moved into a pocket of one Durham, NC neighborhood.
We’re old and young. We’re white and black and Asian. We’re single and married. We’re homeowners and renters. We’re people with graduate degrees and people who learn in Special Education classrooms. Some of us are mostly able-bodied. Some aren’t. What we hope distinguishes us is that we want to be neighbors with one another and we want to be neighbors with our neighbors—the ones who’ve lived in Old North Durham for decades.
Most of us have connected over the last eight years through Reality Ministries, a community hub—near Brightleaf, at Gregson and Lamond—for folks with and without disabilities. There, a number of years ago, families and friends of Durham young adults with disabilities began to dream about a future where all could thrive. The ideal kind of community, we discerned, was be one in which:
· everyone was valued and supported
· food and activities were in walking distance
· wheelchair accessible homes
· access to a bus line to get to and from jobs
· opps for all to explore and share our gifts
With the generous help of Legacy Real Property Group, one family moved in July 27, 2012, and the final building was occupied in January of 2017. Two buildings on Northwood Circle are Friendship Houses--owned and managed by our friends at Hope Springs Village--where young adults with disabilities share life with Duke Div School students. And The Corner House is owned and operated by Reality Ministries.
Though our neighborhood is an organic network of relationships, and not affiliated with an organization or denomination, many of us are involved with RealityMinistriesInc.org and some of us landed in this neighborhood because of Friendship House Durham and Friendship House Partners. We're also cheering on friends in Durham who have been planting and watering the seeds for a L'Arche home to sprout in our city! Keep these folks in your prayers! (Learn more about L'Arche Durham!)