Recently, a good friend of the community, Wolvie, came to buy the school bus and take it back to New Orleans, where they live. They also ended up staying for 10 days to help us complete some pretty urgent house projects, such as fixing the slate roof and putting up ceilings where the roof hole had caused water damage.
Wolvie, being a queer person themselves, wanted to hire a local work crew of queer, trans, and POC. They said they prefer to work with cool folks and wanted to prioritize people who generally have harder times getting a decent paying job. We put out a call into the networks, and got a solid handful of rad folks to get the work done. They did a FANTASTIC job. One member of our team was Wripley Bennet, of the Black Pride 4, who is an organizer with BQIC (Black Queer Intersectional Columbus). Check out all the solid organizing work BQIC is doing here. Wripley writes, “It was amazing to be doing work in my old stomping grounds, with a community that has always done such extraordinary work. The work was hard, but filled with laughs and pizzammmm…pizza. I got to know one of our talented youths during our time, “V.” And Wolvie was patient and kind with on-site training with the work. It’s was the perfect example of ready work for our folks. Same day work same day pay, in a respectful and affirming environment. We need more of that!”
This is the essence of community building, IMHO. Identifying needs in the community, and collaborating to get shit done. Back in the day (maybe 9 years ago??) Wolvie was one of the founding members of the Baltimore Free Farm, a collective land project that provides huge amounts of free food to the surrounding communities. The Midden (which is the fertile soil out of which CoCoHo is growing) used to be in the Federation of Egalitarian Communities with BFF, so we were sister communes. The work Wolvie did for us on the house was above and beyond anything we could have hoped for. They wanted to help us make our space a viable community, even as we transition away from being an income-sharing urban commune, and towards become a housing cooperative.
I am blown away by all the good work, friendship, and community building that happened during the last 2 weeks. We worked hard, blasted music and sang along, and each learned at least one new skill. So much gratitude to everyone who contributed to making this possible. ❤️ Queer Crew For the Win!