Christina Thomas, Twin Pines
Before living at Twin Pines, our lives were completely different. My nine-year-old son did not have friends to play with in the neighborhood. His sense of safety came from security guards and police constantly securing the neighborhood. The local school did not address his special needs. He was not happy.
My youngest son, an infant, never saw the outdoors in our community. I was alone as a single parent. I didn’t know our neighbors. I didn’t use the ‘community features” in our housing project, as they were not safe when the security guards weren’t present. I was alone with my children. I didn’t know what ‘community’ meant until I moved to Twin Pines.
My oldest son is now happy to go to school. He is happy to play outside with friends. He is happy to help and participate in activities with the neighbors. He sweeps the wood chips, delivers hot meals to senior neighbors, and helps when he can without complaining. The baby enjoys morning walks in the park, crawling in the grass, and catching all the smiles of neighbors passing by as he sits in his outdoor jumper.
I have also enjoyed being here. I know when my kids are outside they are safe from harm and bad influences. The parents take turns supervising kids outdoors. If I have a dilemma, I can go to a neighbor for assistance or counsel. I have a neighbor helping me learn how to cook healthier for my family. We are able to pick up healthier foods through several community programs.
Living in Mutual Housing has helped my family thrive mentally and physically. We are safe, happy, healthy, and part of a great family here.