“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.”

Life in Pahokee

The most important moment in my life were having my children. The hospital is now closed and it has really effected our community. We now have to drive to Belle Glade for healthcare. I came here in November 1970, married here in 1974. The roads on the way to my house have been needing fixing for years and nothing has been done. All the other roads have been fixed but they don’t care about ours in East Lake Village. I like Pahokee, its a nice quiet neighborhood. It’s not all that hustling and bustling like a big city.
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The incident at the corner store

There was recently a shooting at a corner store in the police officer went around asking questions to everyone I stood outside and listen to everyone’s response and every single person said the same thing they didn’t hear anything they didn’t see anything and didn’t know what was going on I did not personally know the person who had got shot but I felt bad because there’s no way this person would get justice with the way everybody was taking the situation and the responses the police officers we’re getting
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Ocean life-Rickia

I have been following oceans and water since I could remember. I now live on the ocean where I can wake up to the sound of the water everyday. When I was a child my father introduced me to this life because he was in the military and traveled and moved a lot. When I had my family I choose to settle in a small community close to the ocean.
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Work together

You have probably gotten this story a hundred times already but the 2 shootings that had happened this year. Our young men are dying for no reason. They didn’t get to live their life. This is not good. The community needs to work together to prevent this.
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One Big Family

My neighbor next door made sure that I got home safely from school while my parents were at work. The community was one big family.
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We gotta do better

This did not happen in my life but it affected me. A young boy was shot and killed in Boynton Beach. Now I didn’t know him but I miss him. What if that was my son or nephew. We gotta do better.
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a sticky situation

one moment in my life was the time I got pulled over by the police and he was giving me a bit of trouble and wouldn’t let me leave a few of my neighbors came along and I was finally relieved of his presence
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Because of what I look like

I have been stopped by a cop just for walking one day. He stopped got out the car and asked where I was headed. I responded in a polite manner. He continued to watch me and later started to follow me until I went into the store I was headed to. I felt some type of way about this.
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My community (Story #365)

An important moment in my life is when someone who you loved the most turns out to be dead or injured.You don’t know how to feel you feel like nobody and this world can’t fix this.My community people would just come to me and say “sorry for your lost” but they know how people can change when someone was injured in their life too
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The Day my brother was shot

Living in my neighborhood is not all bad you just have to watch who you hang out with. My brother was shot for trying to separate two friend from fighting.But it’s not just my neighborhood young kids are getting shot and kill every day and everywhere we just have to pay attention and try our best to make a difference
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The Tough Neighborhood

Growing up it was very tough it still is. There are people at the corner store everyday up to no good. There has been five shootings in the last month.Every-time there is a shooting no one knows anything. Almost every week there are kids fighting outside.
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Giving Back

Belle is a small community where family orientation is key to helping others and contributing to providing support everyone. We are constantly asking individuals who has left the the city to come back to the city and contribute.
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Growing up in my community

Divisions between the group and society can become exaggerated. Insular beliefs can grow. Prejudice is supported and expands. Gangs are communities, racist organizations are communities, political and religious extremists are communities. And that is how something that can be so healthy, beneficial, and supportive can be bad for you.
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The good life

Just the daily life in my neighborhood shows how it’s like. My life is peaceful. As long as I’ve lived in Boynton Beach I’ve encountered no problems. Life seems to be great.
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Growing up (Story #493)

Growing up in my community was going good at first but than it slanted. Things started to feel off but one day I seen this. Kid on the news he died because i fatal shoot out was happening. Around his neighborhood
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Living Dreams Through Nightmares

It’ll usually be 5:30 I’m at McDonald’s with my coffee, lab top, and WiFi. It’s a lot of sunshine because I’m on the good side 7:30. Then I start walking to the dark side where you usually see red and yellow tape, blue and red lights. Shaking hands with the good fellows with a smile but also with their hand behind their back having a knife. I hang out talking about sports and life then go to football practice and see bright lights.
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Up from the muck

I was an escort for the elite community club. It had a huge impact on me to be connected with the community.
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Delray Beach- Kene

I honestly feel this community is doing well. It’s gotten safer for the kids, way more opportunities have rised, and more jobs are becoming available. The setup is very clean and organized, government officials are doing their jobs, etc
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Something out of nothing

Boynton Beach high schools prom walk through was cancelled. I remember my Bruce being upset about it. Then she got the news that one of the students told everybody that it was at his house. So they all came together to make it a real walk through. This shows how you can make something out of nothing.
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We’re Doing Good

It’s nice living here, but the past… you don’t want to know. Now it’s nice. No break ins, no stealing… everyone gets along.
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Preparation

Going off to college, and meeting others from other neighborhood and making connections. My community prepared me for this.
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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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Helpless

Once I seen somebody fall out. many walked by but it was one group that stopped to help.
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Sadness

Seeing kids in a wheelchair while young.
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Ms.T my Second Mother

When my mother kicked me out of the house I spent nights sleeping in a park while trying to finish high school. I had no bed, no shower,and no food.I went back to my old neighborhood and knocked on the door of Ms.T she was a well known lady kind of like the mother of my neighborhood.All I wanted was something to eat. But Ms.T didn’t just give me a meal. She took me into her home, where he had warm food and a roof over his head she treated me like her very own son. She also brought me…
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End of an Era

I remember after the annual roots festival which took place every year a group of us would go on Atlantic ave and post up while the nice cars passed by after the festival let out. This was tradition up until 1999 when the than Delray Beach police Chief order his officer to suite up in riot gear and come disperse of the crowd. I remember feeling helpless and going home and asking my mom, Why would they treat us like that. This was well before police and community relationships mattered to our city leaders.
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Stay in school kids

Listen back when I was child I hated school but when my mom told me “boy you better love school don’t ever let me catch that come out your mouth again” I dropped out right after she told me I had tons of friends but school is important because you’ll need in life. , counting money , reading books and getting good jobs
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My husband- Devonte white

Coming up I had alot of important moments in my life. I was finding my husband and i still remember how theres where. Until he was killed by a drive by shooting.
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lost and found

one moment in my life is the time when this girl was kidnapped right and the whole community came togheter to help find her.
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Live for today enjoy yours plans for tomorrow

I love to dance, I love art and I love my community. I am a retired reading teacher and a Sunday school teacher. I raised 6 kids and have been married for 36 years. I have lived in my community for around 39 years and would not move for anything.
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My brothers -Devonte white

Coming up i had a lot of brothers so i can say they was important to me. They protected me and always made sure i was straight. I don’t really know where i would be without them.
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It’s life

My race has always given me a problem. Police always tend to look me up and down. Stop me in stores and ask questions. No specific moment but jut life in general.
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Neighbor helping Neighbor

During the hurricane one side of our street lost power and the other side had power. We were on the side without power. Our neighbors with power came over everyday with cold water, cooked us food and invited us to use their washer and dryer anytime we needed it. It was truly neighbor helping neighbor
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Changes from the past to present

From the past to right now the family values have changed. Back then the community raised us. People used to watch the kids. Athletics have decreased.
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All about bridges

When i was younger early 20s i moved to Boynton Beach from South Carolina and me and my sister had kids. It was really rough trying to do everything we was aware of any sources to help us we didn’t know about things like bridges and that would’ve been very useful. As i got older i knew about bridges Best thing of my life
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Go get it (Story #219)

Important moment is when my friends started going to jail or getting killed. Around here it’s not that many options. You just have to find a way to go get what you want whether it’s good or bad.
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Community man-Rickia

I pride myself on being the ladies’ man. I love the attention I got from the neighborhood women but not the m
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Always listen

Many people may say. Things they don’t mean ! The community I growing up in was a community of violence if you have ever been told to stop doing things please stop when you are told always listen !
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Delray my community- Kene

I learned that there’s a lot about Delray that I didn’t know, but found out that Delray has a lot of history and is broken down and built based on the history of it. I enjoy taking guest and family members around showing them historical monuments, giving the history of it, and telling them what it’s like living there. It’s amazing how many opportunities are given to people living there.
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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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Difference in the city- Rickia Petty

Growing up out west of boynton made me looked at definitely than i would look if i was to live east i know this because i had family who lived further east and i notice when i went over. There was fights and everything on the east side also more African Americans when i came to my side there were more white people.
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My community (Story #423)

My neighborhood is filled with children,I see them having fun playing ball but I also see them fighting. They either arguing with their parents or just fighting with the other kids . long been clear that children from troubled neighborhoods have worse outcomes as adults. But it has been much harder to disentangle whether these neighborhoods cause the later disadvantage, or whether the hardships that lead families to bad neighborhoods are the problem.
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Weekend yard work

I have lived in the same place on and off for most of my life with the same neighbor . Maybe about ten years ago sadly her husband past . Now am 42 with a son so what we do on weekends we cut her grass for her like he husband use to do .
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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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Hardship

Growing up in the projects poor , there wasn’t much in my community .
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