At Somerville Community Corporation we received a sort of holiday present when we were issued our Certificate of Occupancy for the 35 new affordable apartments at 181 Washington Street the day before Thanksgiving.
More importantly, that meant that 35 deserving households would get to move into their new housing for the holiday season. (We will hold a ribbon-cutting event in January.)
In mid-December I had the pleasure of meeting a couple dozen of the new residents of 181 Washington. While nearly every one of them was already living in Somerville immediately before moving into their new home, their origins ranged from Somerville to New Hampshire to El Salvador, Haiti and Bangladesh.
The one thing they have in common is the sheer joy that comes from having a safe, affordable new home. I could see it in the eyes of the adults, and in the laughter and chatter of the children.
There is much debate these days about who should get to live in the United States and why, or in Somerville for that matter.”
Looking Out for Each Other
There is much debate these days about who should get to live in the United States and why, or in Somerville for that matter. We also debate whether, as a nation and as communities, we should be responsible to look out for each other, ensuring that each of us has the ability to stay healthy, well-fed and to have a decent affordable place to live.
Anyone who could have joined me last night would have known the answers. It was in the eyes, the chatter and the laughter.
Several residents told me last night that they had already gotten the best Christmas gift they could have received – a new home they can afford. And for those of us at SCC, the greatest gift we’ll all receive this holiday season is the satisfaction of knowing that we were able to pull together, along with many others in the greater Somerville community, to provide those new homes.