A Night of Support and Exchange!
Posted by brandnuheavy on January 18, 2011
More than 20 residents (representing more than 9 countries of origin!) were in attendance at the Long Branch Network Night held at the TESS Center on January 13th. Newcomers and regulars came together for another evening of getting to know one another and practicing how to care for each other through mutual support.
In the mutual support circle, people are given an opportunity to either request support, make an offer, or share an announcement. It is a moment of authentic exchange that works best when everyone puts energy into brainstorming for those requesting support and effort into finding opportunities to utilize and share offers and announcements.
In the circle, Viviana (originally from the Dominican Republic) shared that she and her family are in need of affordable housing. They are currently renting a home that is more than $2000 a month. They would like to buy a home, but the expensive real estate market and the need for large down payments make this a difficult dream to realize. Yemny, a Community Connector at the TESS Center, provided information on a program with the Housing Opportunities Commission that might be helpful. Brian, a Takoma Park resident, suggested that she consider buying a home that would also have space for her to take in a boarder and generate rental income. Genet, originally from Ethiopia, requested support around helping a friend secure a much-needed winter coat. Viviana offered that Progress Place has a Clothes Closet that provides winter clothing to men, women and children.
Carol, a Takoma Park resident, had an offer and a request. She is a volunteer at the Electric Maid which bills itself as a community storefront. She shared that the venue would like to provide space for community meetings like the Long Branch Network Night, but is in need of more volunteers.
All of the mutual support moments provided opportunities for residents to receive from the pool of collective community knowledge and to give to that pool as well. El Salvador native Mario said, “I’ve lived here for 10 years and I’ve never been to a meeting like this!”