Episode 24: Pettit Rudisill Neighborhood

Pettit Rudisill candidly talks about their part of town, The "06.” Laurie and her husband Randy have raised their family in Laurie’s childhood home after they moved back to Fort Wayne in 1986. Mark migrated to that area with his family for proximity to their church and the cost of living. It's often said that Pettit Rudisill is in the "not so good part of town". But Mark observes that once moving to the southeast side of Fort Wayne, that "People are people. There are people that make good choices and there are people that make poor choices. And yet, for the most part, people want to be known, they want to be cared for, they want to be liked, as we all do." Pettit Rudisill may be in the "Southeast side" of Fort Wayne, but it's a strong neighborhood that has been writing a different narrative than the one that gets told about it for decades.

NeighborLink is conducting a comprehensive research project that is attempting to answer the question, "What makes healthy neighborhoods, healthy?" We'll be introducing you to the five specific Fort Wayne neighborhoods we are working with over the next five weeks.

Link to  Their Video and Andrew's written reflections from the interview.


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Episode 23: Intentional Retirement

Mark and his wife, Geri, made a conscious decision for Mark not to search for a new job at 58 years old when his career of 31 years at the local General Electric facility ended upon the business unit he worked for re-located to a different community. Instead of moving with GE or finding another job locally, he made a commitment to volunteerism and community engagement. Mark doesn't really consider himself in retirement, just in a new career that doesn't pay in monetary terms, but in impact. Mark is an extremely humble man and I admire Mark for many reasons. I wanted to talk to him about how he managed work/life balance, whether volunteerism and service were always a part of his life, whether he ever questioned whether he was on the right career path, and what motivates him to be so involved as a volunteer. As someone in my late 30s, I have a lot to learn from guys like Mark. We also talk in-depth about the rise of men and women entering retirement at a younger age and how many are finding purpose and community as they transition via volunteerism.

Link to  Mark’s Video and Andrew's written reflections from the interview.


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Episode 22: Hoagland Masterson Neighborhood

We talk to two residents, Arline and Jim, from the Hoagland Masterson Neighborhood Association about the characteristics of their neighborhood, the challenges faced by being more marginalized than most neighborhoods, and what they think makes their neighborhood healthy despite those challenges. Arline always wanted to own and restore a grand Victorian home and after locating one in this neighborhood, was encouraged by the realtor and her insurance agent to reconsider due to the reputation of the neighborhood. Jim and his wife happened to end up on HM due to their daughter purchasing a home just prior to taking a military assignment. They ended up moving into the home after some time and have been residents for almost 10 years. HM has some of the most challenging issues of any neighborhoods we've researched as Arline and Jim share. It feels like the rules are the same and they've been passed by for a lot of years, until recently due to the advocating of some neighbors and the speculation of downtown development. It's a fascinating conversation on a neighborhood fighting to be seen, heard, and cared about.

NeighborLink is conducting a comprehensive research project that is attempting to answer the question, "What makes healthy neighborhoods, healthy?" We'll be introducing you to the five specific Fort Wayne neighborhoods we are working with over the next five weeks.

Link to  Arline & Jim’s Video and Andrew's written reflections from the interview.


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Episode 21: West Central Neighborhood

We talk to two residents, Ben and Tyler, from the West Central Neighborhood Association about the characteristics of their neighborhood and what they think makes their neighborhood healthy. Ben has lived in the neighborhood for about a decade and been president for the past two years. Tyler is buying and renovating his first home in West Central, but began his connection to the neighborhood as a renter eager to get more involved. Ben and Tyler talk about the history, growth, diversity, and some of the challenges within of one of the most prominent and attention getting neighborhoods in Fort Wayne.

If you've wanted to know more about what happens behind the scenes WC, this is a great start to the discussion.

NeighborLink is conducting a comprehensive research project that is attempting to answer the question, "What makes healthy neighborhoods, healthy?" We'll be introducing you to the five specific Fort Wayne neighborhoods we are working with over the next five weeks.

Link to  Ben & Tyler’s Video and Andrew's written reflections from the interview.


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Episode 20: Williams Woodland Park Neighborhood

We talk to two residents, Lyndsay and Charlie, from the Williams Woodland Park Neighborhood about the characteristics of their neighborhood and what they think makes their neighborhood healthy. Lyndsay has lived in the neighborhood for almost 10 years and has served as the neighborhood president for the past few years while serving in a variety of other leadership positions. Lyndsay brings her administrative gifting and drivenness to make sure that all the initiatives neighbors want to see happen. Charlie and his wife started as renters in the neighborhood before buying a home two years ago. They have been involved since day one in all social events and association business. Charlie took over the leadership of WWPN in February.

WWPN is one of the most socially and relationally connected we've been in. We see the impact of that social connectivity in their success with their neighborhood home tour, the amount of social events they have, and the intergenerational support that neighbors have with one another.

Link to  Lyndsay and Charlie’s Video and Andrew's written reflections from the interview.


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Episode 19: North Highlands Neighborhood

We talk to two residents, Kay and Bailey, from the North Highlands Neighborhood Association about the characteristics of their neighborhood and what they think makes their neighborhood healthy. Kay has lived in the neighborhood for over 30 years and been extremely active, including being the neighborhood president for a number of years. Kay and others advocated for and led some of the most comprehensive public infrastructure projects in a neighborhood setting of any other neighborhood we've seen. Bailey and her family moved into North Highlands a few years ago and has quickly taken a more organic role to be active in the neighborhood by leverage modern communication tools, encouraging neighbors to get involved, and taking responsibility to create the type of community neighbors want. Their conversation illustrates what we're beginning to see more and more as multi-generational leadership merges together to lead neighborhoods.

Link to  Kay and Bailey’s Video and Andrew's written reflections from the interview.


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Episode 18: Invest In Yourself

Sam is a Fort Wayne native and developed a passion for serving others at the YMCA in 2012 when she started in a member services role. Sam is a young professional with a commitment to being the best person she can be by wrestling with the tension of when life, vocation, and purpose all intersect. Her love for coaching and developing others is partnered with a desire to strengthen community for all people. This is all allowing her to make an intentional impact to better lives in Downtown Fort Wayne Since as a neighbor and as the Membership Director at the Central Branch YMCA of Greater Fort Wayne.

Link to  Sam’s Video and Andrew's written reflections from the interview.


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Episode 17: Finding a Friend

Meet Mrs Kolde and Mary. Two neighbors connected through a request for help who became quick friends. A cleaning project turned into an ongoing relationship that includes long conversations over shared interests, trips to beautiful places, and a growing friendship that spans a couple generations in age. One of our greatest desires at NeighborLink is that you may find a friend in the neighbor you've just showed up to help. We get to learn how our experiences impact our friends through story, how Mary and Mrs Kolde found each other, and the lessons they're learning along the way. This story a beautiful glimpse into what getting to know your neighbors or choosing to engage relationally through your volunteerism can do if you're open to it. It doesn't always happen, but the opportunity always exists.

Link to Mary & Mrs Kolde’s Video and Andrew's written reflections from the interview.


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