“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.”

Changebis needed

Being stopped by the police all the time because of what I look like. Police love stopping and asking questions. Not matter what the age. But it does matter what the color. That needs to change.
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Helpful neighbors- Kene

About a month after moving into my house, it flooded. So at one point we lost our kitchen so our neighbors were nice and fortunate enough to bring us meals.
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The outreach group

Me and my neighbor work together and made an outreach program at.I soon became involved with many other churches and outreach programs like the one at “agape”.I organized volunteer groups and helping out with special needs at the church. The church and neighborhood work as one big team
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Coming to the city

I was in Haiti .Things was really hard so my family moved to the states and ended up in Boynton Beach. Things was different but was accepted it. All of crime and police lights.
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No help

When my son died I realized the community is out of control. Kids killing kids . Nobody really care anymore things getting hard .
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Give god the glory-billy penn

Living in this neighborhood is not about the drugs and the alcohol I was born in 1947 in Delray Beach hoping kids don’t follow in my foot steps if I got a problem I don’t do drugs but around people that do good and bad in my childhood never went to school
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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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Forever Service

Growing UP and being reared by my grandmother. She exposed us to numerous things.
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Love- Rickia

I am so lonely since my Walter died. We loved our neighborhood and we loved each other. I think everyone should have a love and a relationship that help you get through the worst times and also help create the best moments. Walter was that and more. He was a great Father, grandfather and he served the country until the day he died.
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Giving back to the community- Kene

In my community right now in boynton, I’m a deacon at church of God in boynton, we try to help the community in any way we can, bring people closer to Christ. We have street services around the community to try to strengthen their connection with God. I try to be as helpful as I can cause not everyone is as fortunate.
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Protection

My neighbors would always keep an eye on us to protect and that help me become a good person to watch out for people myself !
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Always stick with your family because family is going to be there for you

The most important moment in my life (I was born and raised in Belle Glade). I lost my mom in 96 by of Belle Glade, an my son and nephew lost to gun violence a few years ago. After all of that, I am still standing, I might stumble, God has carried me. He is always there. Hypertension and diabetes and heart problems went through my family, and God has been there for us. My mom lived 7 years with kidney failure with NO medication. She didn’t suffer when she died. We took care of her and my husband when…
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God bless

No mother should have to bury their child. The shooting that happened about a month ago in my area where I stay devastated a lot of people including me. I did not know the family but I supported them.
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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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Basketball- Devonte white

I believe basketball was a important moment for me . It changed my life so many ways. It taught me things i can also use in life
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Dangerous community- Kene

It was 3-4 years ago, when I first moved here back to Delray. We’ve just recently purchased, and moved into the home, when a deadly shooting happened down the street. I remember prepping the kids for church, while my husband was outside waiting when we heard gun shots go off, following police sirens a few seconds after. I wouldn’t say I’m comfortable living in an area like this, and I dislike it, but sometimes life just tosses you around, and you gotta go with the flow.
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20 years teaching in the glades

Growing up for an interview at P.H.S to be a teacher I had to compete with another teacher and a number of the people in the interview become very good friends and I Romberg the teachers at the cool try to adapt to the school to become a teacher. And I am bless that I been able to teach multiple teachers in the classes. By the time I was retire I was teaching the children and grandchildren of the student I taught
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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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Don’t judge

Well when I was going to lake worth high school it wasn’t a school for black kids it was on a segregated school Due to the people around us our community was dying no one liked the colored folks
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Got to change

Important moment in my life was when I went to jail. In my neighborhood things hard. I was on drugs very bad but I been clean for 3 years.
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Youth Growing up in The Heart of Boynton

Growing up in the heart of Boynton Beach and a young man was challenging for me. I grew up in a home with no positive male figures and no positive role models. I was raised by a single parent and it was no easy task. My mother did the best she could with the limited resources she had.
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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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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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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 Neighborhood Full of Crime

There has been many fights for many years, Loud rowdy fights. The police is constantly coming to our neighborhood to break a fight up or arrest someone for a crime. It’s been like this for years and it should honestly stop. My grandson was recently arrested because he was linked to a shooting. It needs to change and I hope and pray one day it does.
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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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My community (Story #347)

An important moment in my life is when discussions leads into other things such as fighting and killing.Many people don’t get over the fact that you had an argument and can end with a simple apology but it leads to other dangerous things.
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The Early Life

I grew up in Plains, GA. I grew up with Jimmy Carter. Plains was a little town and everybody knew everybody. Black and white did not make a difference. My brothers and Jimmy used to play together. We all worked in the fields together.
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Different but normal- Kene

I help everybody. Help out the less fortunate with whatever I can. Teach kids not to smoke, would trade my life to save a child’s. When I’m rich, I’d like to give kids little puppies, teach them responsibility. No exaggeration!
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My community (Story #57)

An important moment in my life that would help someone is you see when your community is slowly changing into segregation but can also be a good community too . You see what caused people to kill and abused each other. Living in a terrible neighborhood with violence can caused all danger to the community. My community is a place with dangerous people who do drugs but can also help each other out . The community I lived in is were you can say “ help a brother out “to “*gunshots”.
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Snitches get stitches

In my neighborhood there has been many killings, fights all of that. My son was recently killed at a house party. The saddest thing about it was no one seen anything which I don’t believe this community needs to let go of the whole idea “snitches get stitches”
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Different lifestyle

When I young living in my neighborhood was different from today. We couldn’t do the things that the young people do today. The white kids had more privilege then us blacks we couldn’t even go to the beach.
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Great out the bad

Two positive, one positive being everyone is a whole, such as being a diversemulticultural community. Another being welcoming and feeling like a family from different races
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The Neighborhood

Growing up as a kid me and my neighborhood we’re one. All the kids knew each other we knew each-other parents and the neighborhood was like one big family.Growing my single mother would struggle financially.But we always ate and had a roof over our heads because our neighbors would help my mother. Our neighbors would help no matter the issue or problem we considered ourselves a family.
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The streets

Important moment In my life was when my brother died . It made me realize that the streets of Boynton Beach are not for anyone. Things really got bad around here.
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What glitters isn’t gold

I am well known in my neighborhood. I have lived many places because of the hype others speak about but I always end up back here where it all started. Many places had nice homes, scenery and a lot of people but those places were missing Soul and Character. Here I have my family and my church and at this age that’s all I need
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Hardworking Woman

Where I am living, people are okay. They talk to me. I am from Haiti, but I moved because of the situation in Haiti. Used to work in the field, cotton and plantain fields. It was hard. Went to medical assistant school and went to work with a doctor for 12 years. I drew blood, gave injections, and just did most things. He close later. And later I had a heart attack and had knee problems. Then, I stopped working. Hard not working. Go to church and pray. Live with sister.
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Long time ago- laroderick

When I joined my high school cheerleading team and I realized that the coach for my high school cheerleading team was the same coach I had when I was in delray Rocks cheerleading team of someone was to think about that noticing how small and connected Delray Beach is that we could I could be on different cheerleading teams at two different money’s in my life and have the same exact coach till this day I am 23 and still connected to that coach I am the god mother of her daughter
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Not always bad

One day was my nephews football game at Boynton high. We went out to support him. As we were there we noticed how much the community was bonding. Just at a football game you can tell that Boynton is not a bad place.
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All together as one

An important time in my life was when my whole neighborhood came together as one it felt great to see us all come together. Through all the pain , suffrage killings and all we still was able to come together as a black community as we should. It was important for me because in my time it wasn’t like this it was different i wasn’t able to swing on that purple swing right there i wasn’t able to drink from that water fountain but now my grandkids can my nephews my kids kids everyone all together are able to be…
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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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Finding me

I remember this time when one of my friends chose not to go to school everywhere they went they saw the same person by the time they got home their parents knew they had not gone to school this person informed their parents they were not in school. So this shows how people in the community look out for each other’s kids.
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My Missing Sister

Well the neighborhood I lived in was kind of small and my little sister who has special needs went missing only for a few hours. She was gone for about 3-4 hours she was 13 at the time. I went around my entire neighborhood looking for my sister with my mother. After, knocking door to door about 10 members of my community decide to help me and my mom search for my sister. One of the neighbors that was helping us search for her found here at a near by park.
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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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Family and friends

If you ever pass by the Hester you’ll always see kids playing around. The Hester center is the spot to be for kids. That shows how kids today are not always in competition but they are family.
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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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Choose the right friends

Well growing up in the city of lake worth was bad for me I did drugs at the age of 16 cause my friend put me. On it my story is going to teach you about. How to choose the right friends
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