The OCP Blog

Building Social Capital through OCP

One of my favorite quotes of all time comes from Henri Nouwen. He said: “A community is the place where the person you least want to live with always lives.” We go through our daily routines feeling disconnected from our body, surroundings, emotions, social life, and self-worth. At Our Community Place, we are cultivating a community of restoration and hope for our community members with the objective to allow each and every one of us to hope more to live sustainable lives. We are allowing ourselves to breathe and take the time to acknowledge each other’s presence.

Just like a car, our body needs more than just fuel in a form of digestive products to make us feel whole. At OCP, we are working toward feeding our community members with nutrients that will feed their bodies, minds, and spirits. Not just any regular food, but the type of foods that we hope will revive hope and fullness for anybody walking into Our Community Place, especially our community members.

Just like any puzzle, it takes time, devotion, perseverance, and a lot more outside support to achieve our goals. It has been great, honestly!! Our drive toward improving the social capital of our society starting with the Harrisonburg community, and focusing on ending homelessness, is not an easy job. Fortunately, the support system in place among the staff members of Our Community Place has made this journey worthwhile. We work diligently to see that the programs for our community members are effective and trauma-informed and friendly. Mostly, Our Community Place staff members have done a great job at making sure that most of our volunteers and community members leave each event with a pleasant experience (affirmed by 95% of our overall feedback).

Our community members have begun to open up and share their emotions and experiences during our morning empowerment program. They feel they can share their daily pain without hesitation. Soliciting open conversation about personal experiences allows us to check in physically, emotionally and mentally.

Over the last five months, we have had a total of ten to fifteen volunteers willing to participate in our weekly Friday Lunch Restaurant program. This always excites us, and it allows us to hope for a better tomorrow. It takes some time to build leaders. Fortunately at Our Community Place, time is all we have to work on our selves, our community members, then the big picture, which is the larger Harrisonburg community. #ItWillBeGreat!

Leons Kabongo

Program & Activities Coordinator