Re: HFH and community gardens
I am becoming alarmed at the tenor of this thread regarding Habitat for
Humanity. I have been involved with both HFH *and* community gardens here
in New Haven, CT, for almost 10 years now. My experience has been that
the two serve in tandem as tools for residents seeking to reclaim their
neighborhoods from drugs and gangs.
It saddens me terribly to think that a chapter of HFH has behaved in the
manner described, but I admonish the readers of this list not to paint
all HFH affiliates with the same brush. Each HFH chapter operates
independently; HFH International provides opportunities for training and
assistance with organization and development for those affiliates who
wish to make use of them, but it has no direct control over the specific
actions of any chapter.
This is the first I've heard of conflicts between HFH and community
gardeners, but I intend to ask around both the community gardening and
HFH communities in this area to see if it has occurred and just hasn't
"made the headlines". In the meantime, I urge everyone not to condemn HFH
en masse because of inappropriate actions on the part of a single
North Haven CT
> From: "Honigman, Adam" <Adam.Honigman@Bowne.com>
> To: "'Robert Drach'" <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
> Sharon Gordon
> Cc: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
> Subject: RE: [cg] To Dave and interested others re
> Date: Wed, 9 Aug 2000 11:12:02 -0400
> Thanks for the update re Habitat in NYC! My synagogue has asked me
> to join
> in a Habitat construction job in East Harlem. I was looking to clear
> schedule to join in before I read your memo. As both a community
> garden and
> housing advocate, I work to find compromise solutions as a member of
> Manhattan Community Board 4's land use subcommittee. So far, we've
> sucess with one not-for-profit developer who is preserving and
> enhancing a
> CG ( the "Juan Alonzo Garden" on 51st and 11th ave in NYC) as part
> of his
> adjacent low-income development project. We are negotiating with him
> another near by project. This is hard work which has required
> concessions on
> all sides. It is proving to be win-win. In areas with competing land
> advocates, it is the only way to go.
> Community gardening is 50% gardening and 100% political. The
> has to really want the garden in the first place and has to work
> hard to get
> housing advocates to use non-garden sites for building. This kind of
> politcal work and deal-making is extremely time-consuming and hard
> to do.
> The Clinton Community Garden has two individuals who have made the
> of time and effort to become Community Board Members.
> Bob, please give me chapter and verse about what Habitat has done in
> Bronx so I can share it with others who, like myself, have
> contributed to
> Habitat in the past.
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