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Am I my brother’s keeper?

Lincoln City Councilman's column
By: Stan Nader
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Am I my brother’s keeper?

I am using the following illustration not to be offensive to anyone but to explain where the saying came from.

That was the question God asked Cain about the whereabouts of his brother, Abel, in the Book of Genesis. With the world around us becoming more dynamic, complex and increasingly changeable and polarized, one needs to reassess how we value the lives of those we encounter.  

The Scriptures speak much of serving the needs of others and mentions the word generosity 932 times, more than love, hope and faith combined.  

When we bless the lives of others, we not only display the love of our Creator but we fill a need in our lives by putting actions to our words and showing compassion for others. “When you have done unto the least of these, you have done it unto me.”

There are organizations in our community that are practicing what has been referenced above. A list of groups to be shared in this article may be incomplete and if there are others, please let me know. 

The first group is The Salt Mine, which serves 2,500 to 3,000 individuals per month with food, clothing and other assistance.  Their goal is to prevent families from becoming homeless, so they do not have to choose between paying rent or buying food.  Second is St. Vincent de Paul, which assists families with rent, food and utilities payments in the amount of over $100,000 per year. 

The third group is Lighthouse Family Resource Center, assisting families with a wide variety of services through donations, grants and funding from Placer County. 

Fourth is Lincoln Better Living Center, which provides a monthly clothes-giveaway for those in need. 

Fifth is St. James Episcopal Church, which sponsors a food closet and community garden.

I am sure that I could add to this list, I believe you get the picture that the organizations and people of Lincoln do care about those of lesser means.  

If you are not part of one of these groups or others that are serving the needs of others, I would challenge you to consider doing what you can to relieve the stress in the life of a fellow human being.   That is what is special about Lincoln: we are a people who care about each other. And yes, we are our brother’s keeper.

I would like to share additional thoughts about another issue that is a passion for me and is correlated to meeting the needs of others.   That is, “Make Lincoln Housing Affordable Again.”  That’s not my tagline; it’s my daughter, April’s, Facebook page she created to share stories and begin the discussion about solutions to this very basic human need, a place to call home. 

I read a story from that page at a recent City Council meeting about a family that was forced out of their home and could not find another place to live in Lincoln and was compelled to leave the only community their family had ever known.  Now if that is not a reason to change the paradigm to bringing back affordable housing to Lincoln, I do not know one.

I would like to share one example of how that can happen. I have discovered a company called Katerra.  They are doing a project in Rocklin called Rocklin Gateway and you can read about the project by Googling that name.  

Katerra brings a systems approach to the construction industry by using a factory in Phoenix to build modular components for a project and then they ship them to the project site to assemble them like “building blocks.”  

If you visit their website, you can see how they do it.  You will see how they construct what they call a “dry-in” (basic structure, roof and windows) building in 17 days. Pretty impressive that a quality product can be affordable. This is one example of the innovative technologies we need to embrace to bring affordability to the construction arena.

Please share your thoughts and ideas, because collectively, we can bring solutions together and make Lincoln a place everyone can call home.

Stan Nader is a Lincoln City Councilman. He can be reached at stannader48@gmail.com.