04 Nov The New American Dream
By Jimmeeka Love Harris, Metro Housing Boston
I found a recent article in the Boston Globe (Miracle on the Mystic: Chelsea, Everett, and the New American Dream; October 11, 2019) very interesting because it spoke to me in several ways, in part because of my participation in the Section 8 program.
I have to admit that prior to my move to Braintree from Dorchester I was a bit nervous about moving to an area further out from the city even if it only meant a 30 minute ride away. This was mainly due to the unknown and feeling isolated factor. I would hear about stories of success for families who moved out of places like Roxbury to areas like Quincy, but it seemed hard to gauge what was really true for them and their success story.
I wish I would have moved to an opportunity neighborhood a lot sooner. My son, now 23, was never exposed to the type of living an upward mobility environment would offer. He was not afforded the better opportunity and experiences that come from a surrounding community such as Quincy or Braintree. Growing up around violence, fear, and living with anxiety due to his environment has had a major impact on his life.
A program like opportunity neighborhoods that have rent below the median rent would definitely be helpful for families from the inner city who would benefit from such a move in addition to having the counseling and educational support. My daughter, now in 5th grade, is benefitting from such an environment.
I’m glad to see the shift in thinking for more solutions that could work. I have been participating in the Family Self Sufficiency program for more than four years, so additional innovative thinking is definitely a good thing! I know Metro Housing|Boston would do well with this program for the families we serve.
Jimmeeka Love Harris is Development Associate at Metro Housing|Boston.