So as I was listening to the Lyfe Jennings album, I had a thought recently about the prison system and the disproportionate amount of young black males populating said system. Not so much about the folks that keep going into prisons, but moreso the folks coming out of prisons. For every ten guys that come out of incarceration more hardened criminals, I'm sure there is one cat that just wants to straighten up and never go back, right? So according to Lyfe, it's very tricky to keep on the straight and narrow once you get out, because no one will give you a shot doing anything worth while. I've heard that story many a time before, but I started thinking about what role growahouse could take in the future to consider such a large and needy portion of the community as just that... part of the community. I have an idea for a program that would take 4 or 5 young non-violent, at risk, recently paroled, minority men or women and train them to build. When I say build, I'm not just thinking construction, I'm thinking holistically. I'm thinking... building homes, building relationships, building wealth, building personal health, building confidence, building responsibility...... building opportunities. Let me be clear, I am not interested in a halfway house program that tries to re-acclimate folks into society. I don't think that is what we should go for here. I want to think larger. I'm talking LLC. I'm talking one person is learning how to set the wood framing and pour concrete footers, one person is holding a community meeting to discuss the impact of the project on its surroundings, one person is securing venture capital, one person is at the zoning office filing for permits, and the other is coordinating everybody else.... you understand what I'm saying?
I think that in order to truly bridge the gap between growing a house and growing a village, we will have to elevate the manner in which we conceive of everything.