By Kathy Lund, Mother of Jessica
My adult daughter lives with five other individuals in a Hammer home in Golden Valley. They moved there in February, 2008. It is a beautiful, spacious house on a corner lot with a large driveway area for parking.
At the time, the house and yard was screened from its quiet residential neighborhood by a solid wooden fence. Both the front and side street views were blocked by this fence. Some time ago, part of the front section of the fence was knocked over, most likely by a snowplow. Hammer appealed for funds to repair the damage, but it remained.
This past June, a decision was made to remove the side portion of the fence. The effect was remarkable. Suddenly the home had joined the neighborhood! There was a sense of welcome and trust. Neighbors could see the individuals playing basketball or picnicking. It is also safer now because drivers on both streets can view vehicles emerging from the driveway that is very close to the intersection.
This simple improvement has been tremendous! We never considered the fence particularly obstructive, but once it was gone, the difference was apparent. This object had inadvertently boxed in six amazing men and women. It’s amazing how much a small change can have such an effect. The fence didn’t make a good neighbor; my daughter and her housemates make great neighbors!