Aurora Cleanup & March Tomorrow Morning! (4/16)

Dear Neighbors,
On Monday morning an explosion occurred at the Klose Inn at 93rd and Aurora. One man was critically injured in the blast. Almost immediately reporters on the scene and news outlets were speculating that there must have been some sort of illegal activity going on behind that motel room door. It turned out to be a natural-gas explosion, but that discovery came a bit too late - a misconception about our Aurora neighbors and their situation had already been revealed.
On Tuesday morning at the Aurora Commons, almost immediately after opening our doors, our staff found themselves on the receiving end of intense hostility from the owner of a nearby business. While this was not the first time for this, it was the most vitriolic of our interactions. We were not surprised by his accusations, but we were deeply saddened by the ways he spoke about our neighbors, calling them, “junkies” and “rats.” Once again, a misconception about our fellow human beings along Aurora Avenue was on full display.  
There are times like these two days this week that we are witness to these misconceptions. Sometimes, admittedly, we carry misconceptions about our neighbors too. Our neighbors, meanwhile, are on the receiving end of these misconceptions every day. As if it weren’t enough for them to struggle against the realities of addiction, sexual exploitation, mental illness, and poverty, they also have to struggle against these misconceptions about their lives, their situations, and their humanity on a daily basis.
Tomorrow morning (Wednesday, April 15) as an expression of solidarity with our neighbors, as a protest against the dehumanization of our neighbors, and as a confession of our own misconceptions, we invite you to join us for a brief Neighborhood Cleanup & March. We will gather at the Aurora Commons at 10am, distribute materials, and then head out to clean along Aurora Avenue between 85th and 95th streets.
Please join our beautiful neighbors from the Commons in bringing beauty to Aurora Avenue.
All of us at the Commons

Companionship for the Journey Out of Addiction

Five months ago, just after a room full of Aurora Commons friends departed from from our “Aurora Means Dawn” benefit breakfast, another group of friends began to arrive through our front door.  These Aurora Commons friends arrived for our weekly Thursday morning women’s breakfast, a sacred time where women from different walks of life come together for support and encouragement over a shared meal.  

On that particular day, Theresa visited the Commons for the first time.  She exuded strength and exhaustion, resilience and despair.  She was one week clean from her heroin addiction, she said, and twelve weeks pregnant.  As if that wasn’t enough to bear, she was fleeing an abusive relationship.  We invited her to rest and to have something to eat.  Soon after, one of our staff members sat with her and began to explore possible resources available to her.

A few weeks ago -