Neighborhood Opportunity Network

Supporting one another in a time of crisis

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What does mutual support mean to you?

Posted by katieschmahl on March 1, 2010

Last Thursday in Gaithersburg, our mutual support group gathered to do some brainstorming about our vision for the group, and how can we transfer ownership to the group, having them help out on ordering food, finding a space, planning an agenda, etc. We were having a pretty good discussion, tense at times, but that’s a good thing. Then, we realized that Roberto and Maricar (the only ones in the group that aren’t in Neighbor Corps) weren’t saying anything. So, we asked them what they thought, and Roberto shared with us that they’ve been struggling with paying their utilities, and their lights and gas were in danger of getting cut off very soon, possibly even that night! That completely switched our focus to: How can we support them in their time of need? After hearing about the whole situation, the group decided to draft a letter to the director of emergency services and email a copy immediately as well as send a letter to expedite the situation. We’re planning on meeting for longer next week to see if we can form a vision and goals, but that was definitely a wake-up call that there are still neighbors with urgent unmet needs that the system is not helping.


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