At the end of the summer of 2009, my summer A-VOYCE program was starting to end, however my work for A-VOYCE never simply ends with just the season. During the last days of my summer at A-VOYCE I began to work closely with Tim—an ACDC staff member who works with ACDC’s housing projects—and Shawn. Tim talked to me about this new housing development project in Quincy that ACDC is developing. Since I live in Quincy and I am obviously interested in ACDC’s influence in the Greater Boston Area, I decided to provide support and help.
During that time, Fort 6 Street had trouble gaining permission for the development of the thirty four family rental residential structure. For those who live in Quincy, 6 Fort Street is near Quincy Center and is right by the Star Market supermarket. Currently, it is a vacant building, but before it served as some sort of business firm.
I feel strongly for more development of housing in Quincy, because there has been an influx of large immigrant groups moving into Quincy. As I recently discovered, Quincy has one of the largest population of Asians. My cousins, who had immigrated to the United States from China last summer, had a difficult time finding housing. The development of the rental units on 6 Fort Street will provide more housing opportunities for immigrants and residents alike.
When Tim sent me support letters through e-mail, I would print them out and distribute them to my neighbors, family members, and generally anyone I knew who would be interested. Alex, another staff person who works in ACDC helped to translate the letters and fliers in Chinese. I remember, knocking on my neighbor’s door and meekly giving them the letter and then explaining to them in my crude and broken Cantonese the project’s goals. Although, some of my neighbors reacted with annoyance, many of them actually thanked me. They told me that I had cared enough to share and reach out to them with these opportunities. If I had not gone around, physically bringing attention to 6 Fort Street, many of them would not have known about the opportunities that were available to them.
This experience really opened my eyes for the need of more housing, especially affordable housing outside of Chinatown and in the Greater Boston Area. When I participated in this event, I felt that I had accomplished a deed I never thought I was capable of achieving. The smiles and thanks I received from my neighbors, friends, and family encouraged me to work even harder in my advocacy work in Chinatown. I find my passion in community activism not only because I simply enjoy it, but because I know I am making a difference. By bringing awareness to this housing structure, I feel that I am one step closer into that direction.
If you would like to learn more about 6 Fort Street, please visit ACDC’s page:
–Tai Tung Village Youth