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As you may know, I grew up on a farm. One the lessons that farming taught me, is that for everything, there is a clear and distinct season. As the ‘author of Ecclesiastes pens and the Beatles song posits: “for everything there is a season (turn… turn.. turn…) and time to every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted…” You, our funders, volunteers, supporters, advocates and partners are a part of a movement that is committed, and dedicated, to pushing back on some of the most rooted, intractable symptoms of the dis-eased parts of the human condition. This is the work of housing justice – the work that you have chosen to dedicate yourself to as you walk in partnership with us. I wish—deeply, that this work was seasonal; that there was an annual cycle to the work of planting the seeds of justice, uprooting the weeds of racism and discrimination, fear, greed, judgment and hate. , As the seasons of repair, healing and justice take longer than a year’s cycle I find myself wishing they were shorter… a lot shorter. “Weeding” especially, just seems to drag along, as those who have suffered are continually asked to wait. But then there are times when I can’t help but wonder…as to this word “hope” and how it found its way its way into our mission statement. But for hope… “… faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen…” (Heb. 11). And it is because of hope that we continue to not only weed, but plant. 2017 was a year of hard, good work. Hard and good—but far from easy. On the farm, harvest was a 24-hour day, 6 days a week. When confronting the issues, challenges, and injustices that Urban Homeworks has committed to face—it feels like it is harvest every day, all day long, every day of every year. Which for those who live without housing, or the stability of a dignified home, their struggle is every day, all day long, every day of every year. Therefore, we fight. We will remain in the tension and in the struggle and we will, with resolve, work as hard and as long as we can for the justice and shalom long sought that we all might enjoy the delight of the seasons—to plant, cultivate, harvest— and finally to rest.

Chad Schwitters
Executive Director