Home is a place to do your best work, cry your worst cry, experience your first love, make your first mud pie, fail miserably, and have the best sleep.
What does home mean to you?
Home means sanctuary, peace of mind, and legacy. It's a place to do your best work, cry your worst cry, experience your first love, make your first mud pie, fail miserably, and have the best sleep. Home means many things to me for many reasons and at different times.
Why did take the My Home is Here Survey?
Representation is very important in many respects. The value that I place on my home should align with the value my city has in me. Part of this is ensuring that amenities, monies, and safety protocols are in effect. It's important that narratives are symmetrical. So many times we see reports, trends, and numbers about neighborhoods and the individuals who comprise them. The sentiments of those in that area often muted, however. The My Home is Here Survey is pivotal in creating a voice for those who need one.
As I get older, and now own my own home, I realize that home means legacy. It's a form of wealth that many don't have the privilege to experience but should. It's my sanctuary that gives me protection and offers rejuvenation from a world that sometimes sees me as undeserving of my popping melanin, intellect, and innate talents. Home grants me peace of mind and clarity of thought; everything inside won't hurt or diminish me because I crafted the space to grant me solace.
What do you love about your neighborhood?
My neighborhood is largely comprised of black residents with a median age of 50 who make an average of 85K. Forty-five percent hold a Master's Degree, and the neighborhood is over 30 years old with homes that look like they are 15 years old. I moved there because it feels like Black excellence. There is so much wisdom, love, and safety in the neighborhood.
I love my neighborhood because it's a testament to all the naysayers that black people, when together, can create something great and maintain it. Outside of the neighborhood, lies a different world but I see it being augmented for the better and it's all because of engagement and involvement.
What do you need to feel safe in your home during severe weather?
I need to know there are services available to mobilize and assist if something transpires as a result of severe weather. Houston floods during regular thunderstorms so adequate drainage, detention/retention ponds, and evacuation routes are paramount.
What do you want to see improved in your neighborhood?
Outside of my neighborhood are many apartment complexes used as buffer zones to businesses that comprise check cashing, washeterias, liquor stores, and fast food. I consider it a food desert as there are no healthful eateries or supermarkets within a five mile radius. I'd like to see establishments that promote healthier choices to eat. In many cases, people within a certain zone eat the foods they eat because it's what is available not because they want to. Additionally, heavily processed foods are cheaper than foods that are natural which is nonsensical.
I'd like to see access to eateries, supermarkets, less liquor stores, and more parks versus gas stations being built to promote healthier lifestyles.
Interviews have been edited for clarity.