It’s the end of 2021, and the new year is upon us. A new year always brings hope. Hope’s been battered about quite a bit over the past 20 months. The pandemic keeps teaching us that just when we see the light at the end of the tunnel, the tunnel keeps getting longer.
But what is a world without hope?
As a community, MHC has been through quite a lot over the past two decades. Like with the pandemic, hope has suffered here. During our strategic planning process, our community focus groups shared with us that there is a general lack of hope and optimism in our community. Many people here feel stuck and that there isn’t a common vision for our shared future.
Too many people feel that decisions are made without their input, that our community isn’t as welcoming as one might think, and that parts of our community feel invisible.
As a newcomer to MHC and having the privilege of serving as president of The Harvest Foundation, I have the unique opportunity to see our community through a different lens. While I can see the challenges, I also see progress.
I see people working every day to make a difference. We have companies moving here, wages going up, small businesses opening and Uptown working on its revitalization and creating inviting spaces for community gatherings.
We have more good-paying jobs than we can fill. All of our kids can go to P&HCC for free and make a future for themselves. A new housing development is bringing affordable and very cute housing in Uptown. The arts are up and running. Hope is here, you just have to look for it.
For 2022, I challenge each of you to get engaged. Bringing back hope and re-energizing our community is an all-hands-on-deck effort. Our local organizations and businesses need your involvement and your voice. MHC needs a shared vision for its future and that vision needs to be created and owned by you. Make it one of your new year’s resolutions to find something you care about and get involved.
MHC needs you. Hope needs you.