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Mar 8, 2024

"Heroes were ordinary people who knew that even if their own lives were impossibly knotted, they could untangle someone else's. And maybe that one act could lead someone to rescue you right back." --Jodi Picoult

Why Boston's Wealthy Back Bay Said Yes, In Our Backyard

In a compelling tale of unity, Boston's Back Bay neighborhood turns the tables on the NIMBY ("Not In My Back Yard") phenomenon, welcoming a unique housing solution that offers much more than a roof over heads. The 140 Clarendon project, a retrofitted structure in one of Boston's priciest areas, welcomes the homeless and disadvantaged, fostering not just a sense of community, but a promising new start. "The solitude is priceless after sleeping in a room with 30 or 40 people," resident Garry Monteiro describes. "Right now I have $4 sitting on my nightstand. I've come and gone all week, and it's still there." This endeavor redefines neighborhood values and showcases the power of compassionate city planning. Residents also receive case managers and on-site support services. As Howard Koh, faculty chair of the Initiative on Health and Homelessness at Harvard University, notes, "The collaboration of all the partners, public and private, to make such progress is a great example of how people can ... rise to the challenge."

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