First Long Branch Neighbors Exchange!–In it together
Posted by sebastianbrown on November 5, 2009
More than 30 Nob Hill and Park Montgomery residents got together last night as part of Long Branch’s first official Neighbors Exchange! With various resource partners in the areas of jobs, healthcare and emergency services on hand, neighbors had some their most pressing questions answered. But even with representatives from Montgomery Works, Centro Familia, the TESS Center, Holy Cross Hospital, Montgomery Cares in the room, residents quickly came to appreciate the value of sharing their own personal experiences and struggles with neighbors going through the same things each and every day.
At one point, Martin Zelaya of Nob Hill stood up and told the group of the unbearable pressure he feels to find a job after his wife gave birth to their first child just 5 days ago. To prove to Martin that he’s not alone in feeling helpless, Hugh Bailey of Montgomery Works asked the group, “Has anybody ever felt ashamed for being unemployed?” Nearly every residents’ hand shot up. Within minutes the group had agreed to meet again next Wednesday to continue to get to know each other and find ways they can support each other along the difficult road of searching for employment.
Especially for those who have just recently entered the country and don’t speak English, it’s easy to feel all alone and like nobody else is facing the same daily struggles. But once again last night proved that if only we get to know one another a little better, we realize just how similar we–as well as our greatest challenges–are.