A Mid Summer’s Night Dream

Once upon a time in a city far- far away there was a center that served the population on a troubled side of town. When South Wind Community Center was constructed there were no homes for blocks, the commercial district had deteriorated into vacant grass covered lots.

Fueled by federal funds the center was built offering space for events, a pool, recreational facilities, a senior center, satellite library and played host to programs designed to assist women and children.

A church led group was formed to build houses where there were once vacant lots not only did they build houses they reconstructed hope that there was something positive that could be developed in that hollowed out section of this city.

Three decades later more than 80 new homes were built dozens more were brought back to life through rehabilitation. A major drug store established shop at the re-birthed neighborhoods entrance this was the beginning of the new area called South Creek Village.

South Creek as it was rebranded then did the impossible, they reconfigured their dream. In a major move that upset the entrenched and empowered the South Wind Community Center was closed.

“Oh no, what will we do?” were the cries from people who fed from the trough of governmental colonization of services for the poor.

The plan was simple since the neighborhood goal of residential stabilization had been met it was time to declare victory and move on.

The South Wind Community Center was reconfigured into a state of the art YMCA by partnering with the city which pours money into the center for recreation programming and upkeep. Funds previously used to support recreational functions at the facility were re-purposed to finance the partnership and renovation costs of the property.

Membership dues are based on income so that exercise and fitness are within reach of all neighborhood residents.
Instead of providing “programs” the facility generated jobs. The services previously provided by the Center were spun out into the streetscape.

On the new streetscape they constructed a new library and a senior center, they also hosted community festivals.
Health and women infant and children programs were moved several blocks away in a cluster anchored by the areas Community Health Center.

Grants were then given to entrepreneurs and investors to start new or re-locate in this new community providing much needed goods and services.

As a wet sensation suddenly wiped across my cheek I woke up to the nudge of my dog’s nose…this was just a dream, a mid summer’s night dream.