What if ruined places were rebuilt? What if desolate properties became beautiful gardens? What if trash-filled alleys were cleaned up? What if the sounds of gunshots and sirens were replaced with the music and laughter? What if, instead of becoming hopeless and intimidated by the darkness, we chose to arm ourselves with courage and love, and repossess the land?
In July 2014, we as a Burn community embarked on a journey of dreaming for the impossible. We took possession of a mansion located in the very center of Harrisburg’s ghetto. Almost two years later we are still here. The stories of how we each came here may seem random, but we believe we are here for a specific reason. God is setting the stage for something extraordinary. He strategically brought us, as light-bearers, to one of the darkest places in this city.
They say the night is darkest before the dawn. This neighborhood we live in, known as “Allison Hill,” is at such a point. Crime, poverty, broken families, drug abuse, prostitution and murder are just to name a few.
A glimpse into Harrisburg and Allison Hill:
This is a vicious cycle of hopelessness that will continue, until somebody stands up and challenges the system.
Allison Hill is no stranger to non-profit and governmental attempts at curbing the decline of its condition; however, we understand that attacking the symptoms without addressing the root will only enable the destructive cycles to continue. If our neighborhood is to see its glory restored, it must see Jesus - in you and in me.
Since July, the house has become a home for young adults wanting to be hope reformers to the neighborhood, a gathering center for worship and prayer, and a facility to train city transformers.
We are not hidden away from the experiences of our neighbors, we have planted ourselves in the middle of it - homicides happening regularly, drugs trafficked all around us, and prostitution taking place just beyond our front door. But these people are our neighbors. They are people. That's why we live here!