Shane Claiborne on restoration: All things can be made new, including housing
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. — Co-founder of Red Letter Christians Shane Claiborne has a special place in his heart for the Christian principles of restoration — restoring lives, communities and homes. He notes that it is a theme throughout the Bible, notably in Isaiah 58:12.
When he moved into the Kensington neighborhood of north Philadelphia 25 years ago, he saw plenty of opportunities for restoration, especially on the housing front.
That’s one of the reasons he partnered with The Fuller Center for Housing to start the Simple Homes Fuller Center for Housing. The Kensington area had a glut of abandoned houses, and he saw that as an opportunity to match families in need of decent shelter with safe, like-new homes while also providing a shining example of how giving new life to properties once thought hopeless can uplift a community and empower its residents.
However, there is a fine line between restoration efforts to uplift families and the gentrification that has the potential to displace the very families who could most benefit from a restored community. Claiborne goes into detail about how they have managed to achieve that delicate balance in a new article — “Development Without Displacement” — on the Red Letter Christians website that you can read at the link below.