The following post is from Laura Jackson, a leader at Little Flowers Community who has been deeply involved in the neighbourhood. She and her (soon to be) husband hope to provide some support & leadership by living in Chiara House:
I got engaged in mid-January, an exciting time, planning starts, in the next breath my tenets start freaking out. What will happen to them? One of them suggests that they buy a house! I say, “Hold your horses boys! I don’t know if we will live here, we have been talking about living in Chiara House.” So they say, “What do you want to do?” I turn to my fiancé, Garrett, and say so “What shall we do?”. He says, “Lets move into Chiara!”
Now we came to this decision quickly because it has been something we have talked about on and off for most of our dating time because both of us are passionate about cultivating community!
I have lived in intentional community for almost three years. Garrett has only been living in community for a couple of months but has always been intrigued by the idea. So in the many conversations about our lives starting as a married couple we wanted to have some community living. But through the wisdom of others we also got that we should have some privacy. Chiara House is perfect for this combination of needs that we have as newly weds.
The other part of it that is really exciting for me is that I have been a part of Little Flowers when Chiara was a twinkle in our eyes. As the project has grown so has my desire to see it happen. I understand more and more why it needs to happen.
I had little understanding of what would be involved in Chiara House when we first started dreaming about it. As time has gone on I see more and more how this city is in need of better, affordable and decent places to live especially in the lower income brackets. I have meet people who have lived in horrible places and seen how that has affected them in horrific ways because that is all they could afford.
I have seen how being part of a community has helped people heal (including myself) and I think having a place that is set up to help people with mental health issues is ground breaking. The combination of community and professional help for people can only be transformative!
All of this with the added benefit of who God Has made to me be, I am well known for feeding tons of people, inviting strangers to sleep on my couch, hosting so many parties all different kinds. Basically God has created me to be the creator of community. I am so excited for Chiara house to benefit from my skills and experience and I am excited for what the other members of the community will bring for me to learn and grow from.