South Bend Heritage Foundation
A willingness to empathize with the "other," including those in or recently released from prison, has been a trademark of Debra throughout her life. Today, she lives in South Bend, Indiana, and has extended her compassion to substance abusers, those at risk of AIDS, and other misunderstood and vulnerable individuals. Read Debra's story.
What a long way Deeqo Jibril has come—from fleeing a civil war in her home country of Somalia at the age of 12, to hosting an iftar (a meal to break the fast during the Muslim holiday of Ramadan) with leaders of the Boston Police Department and the FBI. Read Deeqo's story.
"Everything is broken and the only way we are going to get it fixed is if we fix it," Don told the local newspaper about the 22-acre manufactured-home community that he lived in. "Everything is going to change now." And it did. Read Don's story.
Maria Elvia Salazar
People's Self-Help Housing
Elvia's community engagement went way beyond social events and homework help. When the city decided to drop a bus route upon which many residents relied, she swung into action. Read Maria Elvia's story.
Neighborhood Housing Services
In 2010, Erika founded Uplifting a Life, essentially an "active parents committee." Its mission is simple: stop talking about problems and start fixing them. It started with movie nights and apple picking. Then it expanded to school volunteering. Read Erika's story.
Erin's first major project was the conversion of a vacant lot near her home into a community garden. Looking to recruit participants, she went door to door through the NeighborWorks' apartments across the street. Read Erin's story.
In Greek mythology, a phoenix is a bird that dies in a "show of flames and combustion," then arises from the ashes to live anew. And Manfred Reid is a modern-day, human phoenix. Read Manfred's story.
When she bought her first home in the Glenville neighborhood of the city in 1983, it was a food desert and vacant lots marked the area—a consequence of the blight and demolitions triggered by the housing crisis. What better way to use some of the land, Sandra thought, than for a garden the whole neighborhood could contribute to and enjoy? Read Sandra's story.