Middle Main

A neighborhood just a little off center

Our VISTA Trip to the NeighborWorks Training Institute in DC

Hello friends!


I hope you are enjoying the unseasonably warm weather we are having this winter. My coat is still in the back of the closet, unused and lonely.  There have been many great events, meet-ups and initiatives going on here at HRH and with Middle Main and the Northern Dutchess Initiative. First, I don’t know if anyone noticed, but I have been gone for a whole week! Was I missed? Regardless, I missed you all.


Hudson River Housing is a chartered member of NeighborWorks America, a national affordable housing non-profit and NeighborWorks America sponsors my AmeriCorps VISTA program. This year they held their weeklong NeighborWorks Training Institute in Washington, DC. During that week I attended classes, saw the sights and met other great NeighborWorks affiliates.


My classes were about resident engagement, managing volunteers and building coalitions, all useful in community building and engagement work! The teachers were from the non-profit world and when they facilitated the class they invited participants to workshop real life examples. As the Community Engagement VISTA I learned about the different levels of capacity that comes with resident engagement in non-profits. 


The classes were long, so most nights were spent getting food around the hotel (we were close to Chinatown!) and catching up on sleep. That being said, the last night my fellow VISTAs Anthony and Hilary (Nora was sickly) and I decided to go see the White House and Lincoln Memorial at night. It was beautiful to see all the lights lit up. They also have a large tree in the green between the White House and the Washington Memorial and around that tree is a train set and small trees for each state! The conference is over but I had a really great time thanks to Hudson River Housing and NeighborWorks America.


Now that I am back in New York and at HRH, I am currently preparing for our 2nd Community Conversations to take place at the Millerton Library. The meeting will be informal and build upon the visioning session of the first CC. I will be taking notes this meeting but am excited to be a participant in an event that “engages residents.” My NeighborWorks Training Institute teacher would be proud.


As we head closer into the holidays, I encourage everyone to think about the things they are grateful for and to remember that there are those out there who may not have those things. I’ll probably catch you in the New Year!

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Comment by Nora Culhane on December 21, 2015 at 12:06pm

Very witty - I enjoyed it

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