Getting Energized by Reaching Out

I stared at the register in shock — $58 for three meals a day for five days. I’m under $4 per meal! Cha-ching. When my kids lived at home, I was easily $100 to $200 north of that. I skipped out to the car, not caring about the summer afternoon downpour. I texted my friends to share the news. Maybe there is a silver lining in an empty nest! I’ve recently enjoyed a week of what I’ll call “community action” on behalf of Henderson County’s children. This stuff just energizes me! The Chamber of Commerce and the Henderson County Vision Alumni Association hosted a conversation about the need for affordable housing in Henderson County. In a nutshell, an affordable home for a family earning a median income ($42,478) in Henderson County is $158,423, or $1,024 in monthly costs. Monthly costs for housing include mortgage (or rent) plus utilities. However, the median price for a house in Henderson County is $210,000. We have a supply problem. The city manager recently reported only about 32 homes for sale in the county listed below $200,000. And the likelihood of finding an affordable rental in Henderson County is also slim. I’m glad to see our community concerned about this issue. The city continues to convene local leaders, nonprofits, real estate development, homeowners and renters to work on solutions. Later in the week, the United Way convened a group of agency leaders to talk about healthy youth behaviors and the work we are doing in our community to promote protective factors for young people, like improving parent engagement, positive parenting practices and increasing connectedness...