Home
In this issue
December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Oct 23, 2011 / 25 Tishrei, 5772

A Working Family Finds a Working Home…At Last

By Mitch Albom






http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | There are certain sounds that are pure childhood joy. One is the clomping of little feet up the stairs. Another is the squeal of delight.

This past week, in a freshly renovated house in Detroit, those two sounds came together. Seven children. Running up the stairs. Running into bedrooms.

Cue the squeals.

"I call this one!" ... "This one!" ... "I got the top one!" They were laying claim to something every child ought to have -- a bed -- but they were giddy because they had been sleeping three to a mattress in a dingy house infested with mold.

Now this?

"I got top bed!" ... "I got bottom bed!"

Their mother, Kristy Wilson, followed in behind them. Her eyes were wider than a moving truck, and she kept turning left and right, putting her hand on her heart or her cheek.

"Whose room is this?" she asked, entering a bedroom with a queen-sized mattress on a new frame.

"Yours and your husband's," she was told.

She fell to her knees, laid her head on the bed and began to cry.

A few weeks ago, in this space, we learned about Kristy and her husband, Amando, poor working parents who simply couldn't make ends meet -- at least not enough to escape a bad deal rented house where the landlord never bothered to fix the mold, sewage or other issues.

At the time, there seemed no way out. But then something happened.

A house was in need of repair.

A family was in need of a home.

One plus one equals....

"I have never had a washer or dryer before," Kristy said. She was standing in the basement of this tidy home, looking at the laundry area, astonished that other people would do this for her.

But they did and they do. Michigan is full of people like that. Dozens of them came down and volunteered their time, their hammers, their nail guns, their ladders, their painting, their carpeting skills, their electrical expertise. They donated furniture, windows, basic necessities.

And because of that, through a new program we are launching called Working Homes/Working Families, the Wilsons now have a place to live, not a place to survive.

"Mama! Sit on the couch!" the kids yelled.

The idea is simple: There are too many empty or abandoned houses in Detroit. And there are too many families -- working families -- forced to live in shelters or inadequate housing with crazy rates. The mold pit that was the Wilsons' previous address charged $650 a month. It's astounding in a city where you can buy a house for $7,000 that landlords can regularly be exacting rents like that.

But they do. And it keeps a cycle of poverty intact, while blocking Detroit neighborhoods from any kind of renaissance.

It needn't be that way. If you have or know of a house that is empty, or the owner is looking to donate for a loss or a deduction, Working Homes/Working Families could be an answer.

One plus one equals....

"My husband and I were sleeping in the attic," Kristy said. "We didn't have luxuries. At the end of the month it was a choice between feeding all the kids or paying the rent."

Under the Working Homes/Working Families program, the family must pay only the utilities and the taxes. But they must also keep working -- this is not a handout -- and the house must be maintained at the same level it was given. If these requirements are met for a certain number of years, then the family may be given ownership.

In the meantime, the pairing of families trying to make it with houses trying to stay upright seems a logical match. It's lemons to lemonade, right?

The Wilsons have slept in homeless shelters, in a space above a church and in dilapidated housing. For the last few days, they have slept in a home. It is not fancy by suburban standards. But it is clean, it is mold-free, and it is full of children making the kind of noise they should make -- squeals, foot thumps, bed bounces.

"This is a miracle," Kristy said.

Not really. Just people helping other people. Thank you to those who made this possible, and those will do more. You can learn about it at workinghomesworkingfamilies.org.

A house in need of attention.

A family in need of a home.

One plus one equals....

A community.



Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.



Comment on Mitch's column by clicking here.



Mitch's Archives


© 2011, THE DETROIT FREE PRESS DISTRIBUTED BY TMS, INC.

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles