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  • Writer's pictureRachel Nelson

Inaugural Dessert & Dialogue

Saturday, February 27, 2021 was a big day for us! We joined our board member, Phil Kirk, for our first Dessert & Dialogue! Phil, who has served on our board for two years now, brought together a collection of friends and coworkers for a friendly dialogue over some big topics. We provided the desserts and gladly leapt into the dialogue. The evening was kicked off with introductions and thoughts around the advance question, given with their dessert delivery and in the event invite.

“Have you ever helped an older relative or friend with something? If you were not a part of their life, who would have been there to help them?

The answers were varied and brought to light a very interesting fact for a group of millennials, they don’t have many interactions with seniors. Even if the pandemic wasn’t a part of the conversation, the opportunities where they even noticed seniors was slim to none. Many did not live near or have close relationships with their older relatives. Social circles tend to not be intergenerational, though that wasn’t the case for everyone, and thus minimizing the opportunities to interact with the older generations.

This initial tone really set the stage for conversations to drift in the direction of what this particular population in Indianapolis is faced with. For example, we did share the statistic that in Marion County there are 12,000 senior homeowners who live at or below the 150% federal poverty level. Meaning, their annual income is less than $20,000 if they live alone.000. Even though those homeowners may have resided in their homes for generations, they are still at risk of rising property taxes and eventually being forced from their homes. For those without family or supportive community circles, they’re completely at a loss.

There were notes of encouragement, some of our local politicians and community leaders are clued into the struggles of disadvantaged homeowners and are actively working to minimize gentrification to the point of shoving elderly homeowners from their homes. Still a work in progress, as anyone living within the older neighborhoods around Indianapolis, well knows.

One attendee did admit to initially seeing a run down home on the corner and daydreaming about it’s potential if it were to be purchased by someone with some renovation ideas, only to then become acquainted and t very familiar with the elderly homeowner who lived there. Thanks to front porches and friendly chats building into more lengthy conversations and affection, he would now gladly fight off any such prospectors to help advocate and protect his elderly neighbor.

In the end, our conversation merely scratched the surface of several big topics. It was a very positive experience though, reminding each of us to look a little further than a scraggly looking front yard, perhaps to open our eyes to the more invisible members of our community and find more ways to support all residents of Indianapolis.

Interested in hosting a “Dessert & Dialogue” event with us? Let us know!

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