Choose to Turn a Moment of Fear into a Moment of Courage to End the Affordable Homes Crisis
On July 26, 2017, Staci Berger, President and CEO of the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey (HCDNNJ) and Frank Woodruff, Executive Director of NACEDA were among the speakers to address the over 450 attendees at the Congressional Reception in Washington, DC calling for the building of more affordable homes and a movement.
In these critical and fast changing political times, Staci reminded the audience, “We cannot just do things, we cannot just be business as usual. Things fundamentally have changed. The paradigm that we are operating in has shifted.”
Staci gave a call for us to renew and strengthen our advocacy efforts for more affordable homes.
“Even as organizations and individuals, we have to look to make time in our lives, in our work, in our strategic plans, in everyday things that we do, how we can participate in making sure that everyone has safe affordable home, in making sure that everyone has healthcare, how can we make sure that people have enough to eat.,” said Staci. “Those are fundamental things in a civil society.”
Staci told the advocates in attendance that we need to figure out “How we can both build affordable homes and build a movement.”
“Right now, it is us and it’s up to us because no one is going to do it for us,” said Staci. “Stand up for ourselves, no one else is going to fight this fight for us.”
Frank Woodruff told a story about how the time that he did not turn the opportunity to stand up for his cousin, Crystal, into a time of courage. His cousin, Crystal was born with cerebral palsy and the two-attended school together when they were growing up. And he remembers a time when he did not stand up for her in a grammar school hallway.
“The communities, the people and places, that we serve have their backs against the wall,” said Frank. “This is our moment in the hallway … choose to turn a moment of fear into an opportunity of courage.”
“We may have our challenges, but we have purpose and promise and potential,” said Frank. “No matter how uncertain, things may be – we know how to turn an opportunity of fear into courage.”
HCDNNJ was one of the 38 partner organizations in planning and supporting NJ Hill Day.
The video was taken by Jay Everett of Monarch Housing.