We first met Cesar and his family in 2014 when they were renting a house on busy Park Avenue. They often came to inCOMMON with ideas on how to support and care for our neighbors. One of these ideas was a neighborhood clean-up team sported with branded vests, “so the neighborhood would see that they were working together and be inspired to join up.” Other efforts include helping build a neighborhood playground, planning for a soccer field, serving as a “Block Connector,” and planting new trees to replace old ones that have disappeared over the 130-year lifespan of the neighborhood.
Like many in our neighborhoods, Cesar’s family faced significant health and economic challenges during Covid, leaving them at risk of eviction due to lost income. Through Cesar’s hard work and determination, he was able to overcome these challenges by leveraging tools available at inCOMMON’s community resource centers.
Cesar’s initiative also led him to take on job opportunities at inCOMMON, including weekly upkeep of the Park Ave Commons and landscaping of vacant lots. As inCOMMON expanded into a second location (Walnut Hill), Cesar joined our team in an official capacity as inCOMMON’s Properties Manager! Through this role, as well as his ongoing volunteer leadership in the neighborhood, Cesar is paying a transformative role in uniting and strengthening his neighborhood for current and future generations to come!