'Good Neighbor House' in Waco celebrates first anniversary

Posted at 8:52 PM, Nov 05, 2017

The Good Neighbor House in Waco is celebrating its first anniversary.

Laine Scales had big dreams for the home she purchased on Colcord Avenue back in 2011.

"Because it had been a school and had been kind of a community place, it seemed right, immediately, that it should be something for the community," said Scales.

Scaled founded the Good Neighbor House with hopes of doing more for her community.

"It's an old concept from over 150 years ago, where people we would later call social workers, would decide they would rent a house or buy a house and open it up for the neighbors," said Scales.

After volunteers worked to fix years of disrepair, the house finally opened to the public in 2016. It quickly became a hub for good times and good conversation among neighbors. 

"We might have fear or prejudice that keeps us apart from those that live close to us," said Scales. "So it seemed to me that to create a space where we could all come together, we could get to know each other and learn that we're really more alike than we thought."

Good Neighbor House hosts about 15 events each month, ranging from Crafternoon to Jam Session.

"You don't need to be a great musician to play here," said J.B. Smith, coordinator for Jam Session. "It's a place to come and have fun and listen to other people play and venture out and play some of your own songs and maybe cover some songs."

It's also home to settlers who keep the place running smoothly by welcoming people into the space with open arms.

Kendall Ellis is a settler and recent college graduate who relocated to Waco from Kentucky. 

"I tell people it's like a community center, I just live here," said Ellis. "A college dorm might be a good way for them to think about it. There's always an area where everyone can get together but no one goes into your dorm room at night."

Ellis said this experience has helped her figure out what she would like to do with her career. She's thinking about pursuing social work to continue her passion for community involvement.  

Luann Jennings is a settler who relocated to Waco from New York. She and her husband have lived in the house for about a year and a half. They plan to move out soon, but she's grateful for her time at Good Neighbor House and the mark she's been able to leave in its garden.

"We each have our time here and we'll each do what God gifted and created us to do in service to the house and to the community," said Jennings. "Then we'll go serve somewhere else."

In just one year, the people behind the space have proven that happiness multiplies when shared. They hope the seeds they plant will continue to grow throughout the seasons.

"I'm very satisfied just to see people enjoying one another," said Scales. "Come to this place and get to know each other."

There are currently five settlers living in the house and there will be two openings for new settlers in the spring of 2018.

For more information on Good Neighbor House, click here:

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