Family House Received by: Cordelia Taylor Sponsored by: Jeff Bezos, amazon.com
For more Information, please contact: Family House, Inc. 3269 N 11th Street Milwaukee, WI 53206-2828
As a nursing-home administrator, Cordelia Taylor "saw people who had a sparkle in their eye when they came into the nursing home but after being restrained in chairs, they lost the motivation to live. I needed to make a decision whether I was going to remain there and tolerate these things or whether I was going to try to make a difference."
With the support of her husband, Cordelia sold her suburban home and returned to the heart of inner-city Milwaukee. "I came back and found a whole different world than when we left." Although Cordelia was frightened, she was also determined to rebuild her community, even approaching drug dealers on the street. "One gentlemen pulled a gun on me. I told him it was OK to shoot me, he would just get me to heaven faster than I had planned to go."
Within weeks, "Family House" grew and Cordelia purchased buildings adjacent to her home. Family House has benefited the entire community, once filled with abandoned houses and criminal activity. Children in the neighborhood visit the elderly, creating a built-in after-school study program. They also provide health care to uninsured patients, partnering with a nearby clinic.
One clinic doctor says, "Mrs. Taylor may be a small woman in size, but she is a giant in the community."
More Than a Home for the Elderly The Use Your Life Award has allowed Family House to expand their programs and residences. New programs include karate classes for the youth in the neighborhood, as well as a Teen Abstinence Program and a gang resistance program. Family House has a new computer room that is used for after-school tutoring as well as adult classes to teach parents how to monitor their children's computers.
Printed from Oprah.com on Friday, December 13, 2013