By Lauren Bergelson
Or Tzedek Participant, Summer 2010
Over a year had passed since I was last at Lathrop Homes when I went back there for Tashlich this fall. The day was beautiful (it was Sunday) and Rebecca, another student activist and I were meeting with a Lathrop Homes resident, Sandra, before taking part in the traditional Tashlich ceremony and planning our future actions. Sandra shared poetry with us and voiced her opinion regarding the precarious status of Lathrop Homes, the affordable housing community where she lives and raised her family.
Currently the future of Lathrop Homes is up in the air as steps are being taken to transform much of the property into market-priced homes. This poses a huge problem for the many families and individuals who live and have lived in the community for decades. It was shocking to realize how unpredictable the residents’ futures are. However, it was also inspiring to see Sandra’s passion and love for her community.
I met Sandra in the summer of 2010 when I attended Or Tzedek and it was wonderful to see her again. During the brief time we met with her, I was reminded of her enthusiasm and the vivacity of the Lathrop Homes community. Oftentimes the only image of affordable housing people have is of a dangerous, dilapidated place, but Lathrop Homes looked nothing like what people expect. Later during the Tashlich ceremony we discussed the changes we would like to make this year and committed ourselves to continuing social action, specifically with Lathrop Homes in mind.