Wednesday, May 21, 2008

EOC In Full Swing!!

Despite the changes with DHA, residents are still taking advantage of the Educational Outreach Center. I have been having a full house. It feels good to see that the residents still need these services. We are not stopping now! When the time comes for us to move on, then and only then will I stop recruiting people for the EOC and PACE classes and our monthly Town Hall Meetings. I think that having the EOC in the community was a great plan. I would dearly hate to see it go away. Many residents are asking me if we will still have the EOC available for the residents and all I can say is we will see. I am pretty sure that whereever they relocate to, that there will be some sort of service for them like the EOC. I am staying hopeful!!! I will truly miss all of the people that have made an impact here at the EOC and in my life!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Staying Or Going!!

What is the true story? We have heard soo much about the tearing down of Turner Courts. I am confused. One minute, people are surpose to move out and the next they are not. What is going on! I need to know. I have started to really build relationships and get together training classes and the hardest thing that we had to fight for was the DART. I don't know what the future holds for us here in Turner Courts but I am sure that what we have done will still continue. I am going to keep doing what I am doing to help build the community until they tell me to stop!

Monday, May 12, 2008


I realize that this is only a trial run for the DART buses, but does the signs have to remain? I noticed today that the DART signs that say, No Service After 8pm is still posted on the DART signs. If they stay up, will people won't know that it really does come through after 8pm. I feel that even though it is a trial run, maybe more people will ride during those hours and within that it should strike up more awareness. I am not sure if they will come down, but I think that it should until they decide to stop running! What do you think? or what will they do with the signs?

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Progress because of community effort!

Because of the hard work of people like Sylvia Baylor, Wyshina Harris, Sheila Oliver, Dana Arnick, June Mason, Mayella Lopez, Monique Dawson, Lori Cullom, Linda Haynes, and several others the 10:15 p.m. bus is back!!!! (Click on the dates underneath each picture to see video "then" and video "now") If you look at the first picture (below), you can also see that back then there also weren't any street lights...but there are now...thanks to those same people!

At this point, the 10:15 p.m. bus is not permanent. They are testing it out to see if it is safe for the bus drivers. Please help us keep the bus there! If anyone you know does something to hurt a bus or bus driver, please immediately call 9-1-1. If you see kids messing up the new swings, please stop them! If you see people shooting out the street lights, please call 9-1-1. Let's work together to keep our community safe, well-lit, and full of opportunities for the children and ourselves.

Turner Courts, December 7, 2007

Turner Courts, May 9, 2008

Thursday, May 8, 2008


I wanted to take some time to tell everyone about how the Educational Outreach Center has been a great investment to the community and surrounding areas. Lori Cullom who is a resident of Turner Courts and cook for Central Dallas Ministries. She has shown great determination in fulfilling her desire to work in the Medical field. She come at least 3 times a week to the EOC and search for a job in her field. Little did she know that by putting in her application on line faithfully would soon pay off, and it did. Sad! to say that she will be leaving us, I am glad that she has found a new job. The one thing that I like is that she did not have to ride the bus to the MLK Center and use their computer lab, she did it right in her own community. Another story I have is, on yesterday, my husband was telling me that his cousin that I referred to a job opening, (which he got the position), referred two other gentlemen,(who also got a position). I was like what! and then my husband said you need to put this on your blog, I was stunned that he still remembers that I blog. How great is this! I tell you! If things keep going the way that they are, I will be able to try to write my own book! Like one of my Mentors!!!!!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Not In Vain!!

See! I knew that our hard work would pay off one day. I did not really know if our efforts would make a difference. I often thought that the residents were starting to give up, but I was wrong! Those of us that are stilling hanging in there made a long awaited process move a little faster. This great thing that happen was one of our big projects, and that was letting DART know that their services are needed in Turner Courts. The stories that you read are true. We are soldiers, we believe in fighting for what is right for all, not some. The Bible says that we should treat others like we would want to be treated. Now I see, what God was telling me. Your work was not in vain! You will reap from what is sowed!

After some broken promises, DART comes through

I got a phone call from my friend, Mike Davis, this evening.

"Can you get some people together? DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit) is reinstating their route through Turner Courts."

I immediately called Lori and Evette, who were at our Saturday Town Hall meeting with DART and had done their best to explain why bus service was needed through the apartments after 8:00. DART had promised that service would be reinstated by March 15, but didn't follow through on their promise. Their representative talked about statistics and dangerous conditions. Evette, Sheila, Lori, and Sylvia tried to help them understand the situation of people who get off work late and don't want to walk through a dark field at 10:00 at night; they told of people who take jobs based on bus service; Ms. Dana Arnette, with the Dallas Housing Authority, commented that she sometimes struggles to lease apartments because transportation is a concern for incoming residents.

Lori, Evette, Dana, Mike, and I met at Turner Courts at 10:00 this evening to anxiously await the bus's 10:15 arrival. A little after 10:15, we saw an older lady come out of the shadows from the end of Bexar Street, shuffling her feet, running as fast as she could. "The bus must be coming," someone observed. Sure enough, you could see it in the distance getting closer to the JBC corner store, which has been the last pick up/drop off point (after 8:00 p.m.) for the last several years.

Mike told the lady not to worry and assured her the bus would wait for her.

She kept shuffling as fast as she could, trying to get to the store.

We told her she could slow down because the bus was going to stop right here.

She kept shuffling and explained, "No, the bus doesn't stop here! It stops at the store up there."

We all began trying to convince her, "No, it's changed. The bus will stop here from now on."

She stopped running, but tried to explain to us, "See the sign. It says right there...No service after 8:00." (I wish I'd have taken a picture of the DART sign from the other side so you could see it).

We assured her tonight that was changing and the bus would now run through Turner Courts after 8:00 on a regular basis.

You should've seen her face. Though my pictures didn't turn out very well in the dark, she was somewhat older, had dress shoes on, and was coming from the church, I believe. The look on her face and her comments were absolutely priceless. "Really?? It's going to stop here from now on?? Oh, thank you Jesus!!" She seemed so relieved, surprised, skeptical, but thrilled. Her excitement nearly brought tears to my eyes.

As the bus pulled up and stopped, Dwaine Caraway, our city council person, stepped off along with about 3 Turner Courts residents who were coming home for the evening. One young adult getting off of the bus was just as shocked as the older lady. "I never thought I'd see the day that these buses actually go through the apartments at night."

Though we planned our little gathering of meeting the bus and witnessing the outcome of the community's efforts to speak out, we couldn't have planned the older lady running for the bus and expressing such relief and genuine appreciation.

Customer service. Valuing the community. It's important.

Sometimes it's important to go the extra mile...or in this case the extra demonstrate commitment, show value, and let everyone in and outside of the community know we're all in this together and we're going to do what it takes to make this community safer and more appealing for the neighbors who currently live there, the children, store owners, bus drivers, and visitors. By working together as a community, inclusive of pro-active city services, we can make this a more pleasant place to live now and a more pleasant area that will attract other businesses and services in the future.