Our story begins under towering, graceful oaks in a small public housing office in Texas. Tiffany walked in with a proposal and a caring smile. She could see this neighborhood going places. Sherry, the housing director, was skeptical, but she was willing to take a leap of faith in the hopes that this idea called “placemaking” could be the catalyst bringing the neighborhood to life.
In that small community, we planted orchards, built picnic tables, traveled, hosted cook-outs, painted murals, and started a walking club. We saw how simple things like climbing rocks, celebrations, and art can make a difference in how people feel about where they live.
The transformation that ensued planted the seeds for a larger vision, ultimately becoming Places To Grow. Seeing firsthand how people’s lives changed, Tiffany and Sherry want to make sure other neighborhoods get the same gift.
Places To Grow exists to give people a sense of purpose in making affordable housing neighborhoods the best they can be. We bring people together through placemaking to improve their surroundings and create neighborly places. We work alongside communities activating voices, discovering talents, and developing leaders.
Every community is unique, so we don’t show up with a plan. We start by giving residents an opportunity to share their ideas for improvement, and the level of community involvement only grows from there. We are passionate about giving people opportunities to invest in their neighborhood, and we have seen how the seeds of leadership, friendship, and hope sown in the placemaking projects bear lasting fruit.