“I have a lot to say,” starts Stacey Brown in her story, “New Beginnings,” published in a 2017 issue of Real Conditions magazine. Stacey describes her struggles with being bipolar and how becoming a mother has changed her. “She is the most important person in my life,” Stacey writes of her daughter.
Stacey is one of the writers who joined the Community Writing Project (CWP) group that AmeriCorps VISTA Nicole Maldonado helped bring to a supportive housing development managed by Heartland Housing. Her story is one of four included in the magazine put out this year by the CWP, which offers writing workshops to people who ordinarily do not consider themselves to be writers and publishes their reflections and stories about everyday life in Real Conditions magazines. At the end of the writing workshop, the group held a reading for their family and friends at a local coffee house.
The magazine includes a foreword by Nicole (who will finish out her service as Heartland Alliance Resident Engagement Coordinator next month):
In the time I have spent with Christine, Stacy, Steve and Janet, I have been consistently inspired, surprised and warmed by their generosity of spirit and their resilience. Every writing workshop was a balance of humor and candidness that was truly genuine. For these four people, the journey to healing is an ongoing one, and that is clear in the poetic honesty that they use to describe their situations.
I am truly grateful that I have been able to get to know these four individuals. Their presence is evidence that we could do well with showing a bit more kindness to everyone that crosses our path. Their liveliness evokes an energy that can brighten any dark corner. I know that those who read their work will feel a similar light inside them. And I hope you are all as inspired to share, express, create, and care for yourself and one another as I have been in their presence.
About Heartland Housing
Heartland Alliance is an organization with the mission to end poverty. Heartland Housing is one division of Heartland Alliance, working toward that mission. Heartland Housing develops and manages sustainable,innovative and high-quality affordable housing. We build communities. We create housing where the most vulnerable can live with dignity. We apply what we learn to identify emerging housing needs and meet them. We help create life-changing opportunities for our residents, and we educate policymakers and civic leaders.