“We Are Here” Story Collection

Residents were asked, “Please tell us about an important moment in your life that would help someone understand what it’s like living in your neighborhood.” Explore 50 responses below, selected at random. Which stories capture your attention? (Some responses were transcribed by youth volunteers.) To learn more about the storyteller and how they interpreted their response, click “Zoom In.”

My community (Story #370)

More and more Americans who struggle to get by are living in these marginalized, disinvested communities where jobs and educational opportunities are scarce, and an increasingly militarized police force is the primary contact residents have with government. But for two years, Americans have been expressing confusion as one neighborhood after another from one city to another
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Give support when needed

I remember a school shooting happened. It didn’t happened my neighborhood. But the local high school in Boynton was supporting them. The had a moment of silence and was supporting the families.
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The Fundraiser

I am very close to everyone in my community. I’ve been battling pneumonia and leukemia for many years now and my insurance stop paying for a lot of my hospital funds.My Neighbors and community as a whole raised money for me. They raised at least $78,000 to help me pay my hospital bills.
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My community (Story #367)

42% the death of a family member or friend, 23% the illness of a family member or friend, and 17% a nonmedical event. During a comprehensive assessment, participants identified the most stressful event that they had experienced in the past 5 years and, subsequently, rated its stressfulness and perceived consequences.
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The day i brought my neighborhood together-Nelcael Joseph

The most important time in my life was when i was able to bring my family together along with my whole community not only was it done by someone in my community but by a female me myself France Haven was able to set up a family fun day within my neighborhood to bring everyone together.
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Learn to love

“People may say hurtful things “ growing up a different color doesn’t mean you don’t have different blood
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Good community (Story #249)

An important moment in my life is when my mom died. Everyone in the community came together to help me and my family out. People actually are good around here for the most part.
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Don’t judge a book by its cover

A very secluded family lived across the street from me my entire childhood and we barely spoke or interacted. I left for college and after returned to live with my parents. I notice one day a very nerdy looking young lady coming back and forth and decided to approach her. Well, she ended up being the love of my life and we are still together. I’m glad I fell in love with her and not her appearance.
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Don’t be one

Well boynton wasn’t the same in 1967 there were street gangs street violence drug lords and kids dying
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All is well

Growing up in my neighborhood wasn’t actually bad all the time., I mean things did happen but there was also some good things going on. I lived in a house with all my brothers and they always looked out for me.
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Trouble kids

Important moment in my life was when I met my best friend . We been through everything together in this neighborhood from fights to jail. Not much to do around here but get in trouble.
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Good and Bad

Growing up round violence. Family Orientation around the community and motivation.
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Ice cream man

If you live in the heart of Boynton you would know about the ice cream man. If you hungry he got what you need. I remember the kids running to get stuff before everything run out. Kids love him, he’s like family.
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Still Growing

All parents were the mother of all of the children when I was growing up
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Helping earth other out

I grew up with my grandparents they was very old so they didn’t have much control of my brothers and I. We grew up not having much we had to work with what we got.
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Another chance.

First came 5/9/2014 out of prison. (14 months) Difficult to find place to live because of past offenses. Matthew 25 ministries provided access to housing in sugar cane field. Started coming to United Methodist Church. Was surprised because people welcomed me. Difficult to find employment, but people let me into their lives and hired me for yard work. People in this community are different than any other community because they understand that people make mistakes. The Glades Initiative is helping turn my life around. People here accept us as who we are and extend friendship out. People understand that change …
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Eric Armor

Many people are afraid to walk outside some are even afraid to walk their dog.but when you realize it’s your NEIGHBORHOOD you can control it yourself you can make it a better town than people who are afraid too.
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Don’t be that one

Time is something that she’ll not be wasted by anyone. I was always told that I wouldn’t be nothing in life by my siblings but. I took it to far when I was hanging with the gang bangers in my neighbor hood I went on licks Went to steal cars, did a robbery
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THE CHANGE OF THE NEW GENERATION

Around the time I was growing up in the early 2000s my community was very involved in activities around the community and with our kids here. Now in 2019 we cant get that much involvement to support our community and kids.
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Living in boynton beach

We’re I grew up you know a place like it: It’s segregated by race, and associated with poverty, crime, and violence .derogatively called “the ghetto” or “the ‘hood.” It’s the part of town that you have been cautioned to avoid.
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Life is the way it is

Well I don’t have much to share my neighborhood wasn’t all bad and good you can say people may have got shot may have got into fights I was always that girl that got into fights
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My child

Important moment in my life was having my first child . He changed my life in a way. With out him I would of been in the streets of boynton running wild
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The Tragic Story of the Young Girl

This month there was a young child about 10 that was shot and killed. She was outside playing and there was a drive by which is a regular event we’re I live.It broke my heart there was no eye witnesses. This honestly has to change what happen to that young girl was tragic.
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Protection-Rickia

See me i was the man of the house my father wasn’t there he was a coward and we are from boynton but we moved to the other side this was a little bit less than what i had expected and i would do things a man supposed to do in the house to make sure my mom and my sisters were ok and in around the 90s i started selling drugs i had my own house by this time but not to far from my mom and sisters. I remember her calling me late at night saying they were …
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Elizabeth Alice Green story

Back than many people didn’t know what to think because their was so many different things going around in our community and we didn’t know what to do so many people just hope that it would make our community great and some bad .slavery back than would be the caused for all what bad things in our community that is still today .our community didn’t changed .
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When play turns tragic

A boy was once tragically hit by a train. I stayed clear of the tracks after that incident . The train tracks were right in front of my home.
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Strong Household

Ms. Mann Was raised with both parents in her life. Has 3 sibling out of the 3 she is the oldest. Growing up with experiences from the Glades area and the East of palm beach county. Through her family unit it has helped develop her into the successful women she is today.
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Old school

The police said he grew up in clewston he said it was great they helped one another when you get into trouble from with your neighbor you get in trouble at home
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B-out day

B-out day, where there was a local football player who threw a event for the community there were bounce houses food and live music all across from the set
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Choose the ine

Growing up where I was coming from was a whole different State of Florida. I was coming up and Alabama than moved down here to delray beach Florida cause my aunt. Stayed down here. I met tons of Friends who Made me get in trouble from time to time it wasn’t all find and games. But choose right. People you hang with
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Coming from Haiti

I grew up in a very tough neighborhood. My parents had moved from Haiti to America at arrived here at the age of 7 I lived in Boynton for 46 years. Growing up I was called rude nasty things. “I was often told to go back to Haiti” or “go back to the boat that brought me here” and fought a lot over this.
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Safety first (Story #481)

I remember one night I was at home. Next thing you know I hear gunshots. I thought nothing of it until I went to watch the news the next day and seen somebody was shot and killed by my house. It worried me about my safety.
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Life in Belle Glade, FL

Positive: My kid and the community. Been cutting hair 27 years in community. Had ups and downs. Took 16 years to get off cocaine. Depends on god. Can do better. Robert Mitchell (commissioner): Trying to get own walmart in Belle Glade. Hard for kids to avoid negative environments. Parents also have influence on kids’ growth. Not a lot of hobbies for kids to do in community because small town. Trying to make the best of it. Started working at 5. Knows how to build a house from the ground up, did a lot of criminal stuff, but prays to god. …
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The sixteen year old boy

Recently there was a shooting right down the street from my house. A 16 year old boy killed a 21 year old man on accident. This young 16 year old shot him dead in front of everyone at a park. The same park my kids play at. It’s just a very sad thing to see happen a young 16 year old now a murder.
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Living in a community like mines

More and more Americans who struggle to get by are living in these marginalized, disinvested communities where jobs and educational opportunities are scarce, and an increasingly militarized police force is the primary contact residents have with government.
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After the Storm

After Hurricane Jeanne and Frances, all the neighbors were checking on each other, sharing resources and in general reaching out to support each other, even though on a day to day basis, there may not be much interaction.
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Rehab-Devonte white

Getting off drugs changed my life. I was on drugs bad and i had to realize who i was. I went to rehab to get my life together and things been good ever sense.
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A big difference

The city of lake worth isn’t how it was back than Mexicans were treated wrong, black people was As well people killing kids lake worth needs a big CHANGE!
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Grandparents- Rickia

Growing up in my neighborhood was fun we had lots of fun but segregation was not too far over. So my grandparents still didn’t let me go outside with them and i didn’t live with my mother i saw no wrong with the white kids but she believed that they looked down on us.
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Made it happen

My home situation was slightly better than average when compared to the typical ghetto home life.My mom didn’t always work, but she took temporary work when she could and I never went hungry.
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Teacher’s Choice

When she was a dance teacher and she had to help her dancers understand all the good things that come from this small town and how it builds character.
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The Church

I have 4 kids and a while ago I was being evicted from my house. I had been laid off and just started a temporary job and I just wasn’t making enough to pay all the bills. I was ashamed with my situation but spoke to my pastor and prayed about it. My church donated money to me and help me keep my house. Now I have a new good paying job and a brand new family my church.
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The Wiser

Find God and Connection with someone older. I did this and it helped me get through a lot. The elder are wise
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Living life

Although the impact of living in high-poverty neighborhoods has been well documented, it’s hard to fully explain the toll it takes on a person’s body and soul. Frustration over high prices, high bills, and high unemployment rates is worsened by the bane of many a poor community—the local drug economy. Dealing drugs was the neighborhood summer job program. And for many young neighbors who were expelled from school (because administrators are more likely to punish black students than provide more holistic help), the drug trade was less an alternative than an inevitability.
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