Currently, in the research phase of the project, our objective is to understand the community’s people and places so that we can connect with the current population in a genuine way. We attended a couple of sessions with the members of Hazelwood’s community, and gained an understanding of Hazelwood themes, including loss, resilience, connectivity, and opportunity.
The third time we met with Hazelwood’s people, we arranged an assortment of nouns such as “Hazelwood’s Places, Hazelwood’s People, and Hazelwood’s Youth” paired with verbs such as “are, will be, should be” and asked people to fill in descriptive words that would appropriately complete the sentence. The activity yielded sentences such as:
“Hazelwood’s community used to be loving”
“Hazelwood’s youth should be connected”
“Hazelwood’s houses are gone”
Through the conversations that incurred during this activity, we learned a lot about the current state of Hazelwood’s economy, youth, community, facilities, etc. This led us to five points of entry in the neighborhood’s social infrastructure:
Potential Breaking Points, Expressions of Strength, Sources of Strength, Dormant Assets, and Opportunity.
All of these aspects of Hazelwood’s culture can be showcased to help give Hazelwood a greater sense of unity and inspire vulnerability.