Today was a big day. After five years, Cathy and I feel that we finally got a big step closer to one of our goals: Getting information about our project and information about energy retrofits into the hands and minds of our neighbors in North Lawndale.
This was a long road, but it wasn’t for lack of trying.
Yes, we had a number of open houses, with the last one (open house #4) being the best attended event. Visitors came from all over the city of Chicago and suburbs, which was also the case for the preceding open house. But almost no one from our community attended.
Yes, there is this blog. I have fun writing and publishing it and I am always amazed when I run into people who recognize me because they’ve read it. I am still surprised by how popular it is. But it doesn’t necessarily reach the demographic I want to reach most – the North Lawndale community.
And yes, our adventures have been published and featured elsewhere, such as on Chicago Public Radio. Did that help us connect with our community? Not in a noticeable way.
We have reached out to local community organizations whose missions clearly overlap with our deep energy retrofit goals, focusing on indoor air quality, material reuse and repurposing…you name it. Nothing panned out, despite numerous follow-ups.
It was only in the past couple of months that I came across a group right here in North Lawndale calling themselves “Men Making a Difference.” One of their goals is to help young adults from our community to enter into trade training programs.
That generated the spark through which we connected, and we organized a tour of our deep energy retrofit made up completely of local residents!
Five years in the making! I have to say that this felt like one of the most relevant events we’ve had to date. And I hope we have a lot more of this coming!
Open house #4 – as much Q&A as we could handle
On Air with Worldview
Project featured in Medill Reports Chicago
Open house #3…
1st Open house