Change begins at home…

tree houses for everyone
Everyone Deserves a Home” in Boeddeker Park
by Antoine Marnata and Robert Gonzalez

It is in the seeds of thought that change begins. A Tenderloin Think Tank has applied its collective thinking to the neighborhood’s resources & reality, programs & people. From Law Enforcement & Diversion to Conservatorship, we’ve gone through some thought-provoking series & podcasts in our first two years. Now, we’re working from a foundation of changed perspectives & merged concepts. There’s no better place to start from.

Quality of life actually begins at home – it’s in your street, around your community.

Charles Kennedy

A TL Think Tank consistently considers quality of life challenges, the effects of poverty – from without and within, the lack of resources and options, the fear and likeliness of displacement, and the myriad other issues that beleaguer the Tenderloin. Thought experiments such as re-imagining 101 Hyde as a community space and shared art center to recreating the corner of Turk and Hyde into healthier, interactive possibilities allow us to ask not only what does a healthy neighborhood look like but what values do the solutions incorporate?

A re-envisioning of a corner with an opening for changing the whole vibe leads to exploring what resources could help and how to address the underlying violence; the ideas grow larger while the questions become more tangible. Who should we work with, what would address the needs, and how can we create measurable change? Then we discover what else needs to be in the mix: Harm reduction, addiction treatment, and diversion programs are just a few.

The Think Tank repeatedly finds ourselves looking for ways to protect our neighbors who don’t have the benefit of shelter. We’re tired of watching those neighbors lose tents in the rain & have their belongings stolen on a regular basis rather than being treated with compassion which such a difficult circumstance should dictate. These fellow humans & friends of ours are constantly struggling for the simple right to be. Such sweeps are finally illegal though!

We rally, show up at City Hall, petition, write letters, & take action however we can so that our public safety & equity demands will be heard, acknowledged, and acted upon by our city leaders and government agencies. It started with that seed of thought which was turned to inspiration by engaging with the community. By exploring its issues from new angles, new possibilities are bound to arise & change starts with an opportunity to rethink. Let’s see what else we can discover & bring to this dynamic neighborhood!?

thinking emoticon

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