What is home? Is it a physical structure we can customize to our liking, or a space within ourselves that evolves as we transition through the stages of life? At cityhome, we often say “space shapes life”. A physical space provides walls on which photographs of loved ones will dwell. Windows frame morning light pouring in as we curl up with a cup of coffee. Hardwood floors become an instrument, echoing the pitter patter of children and pets running about. Paint the walls, add a rug, curtains to the ceiling, and a few paintings, then suddenly the idea of home becomes synonymous with the physical structure you inhabit. A glorious space can certainly shape a beautiful life.
What happens when the space we once called home no longer exists?
Whether it be due to financial hardship or military conflict, for those that have lost their physical homes, the notion of home typically transforms into a space within oneself. James Baldwin famously said, "Perhaps home is not a place but simply an irrevocable condition.” When a client walks into our office looking to purchase a home, we ask them what’s important to them, what kind of neighborhood they’d like to live in, what kind of community they could see themselves thriving in. What we have found is people are not necessarily in search of four walls and a roof, but rather a place to belong. If they are not welcomed by their family, neighborhood, or community, they move elsewhere. Regardless of age, gender, financial status, or ethnic background, what we collectively seek is trust, kindness, and support. Our internal sense of belonging is built on this foundation.
The instinctive search for belonging is universal. It is yet another reminder that there is more that unites us than that which divides us.
If we are to survive and even thrive in times of turmoil, we must create safe spaces for each other to belong. From 6,000 miles away, our collective community is doing precisely that. Max Morozoff, a Ukrainian-born and now Salt Lake City local business owner, has coordinated a massive effort to provide essential supplies to people displaced by the ongoing war in Ukraine. As hundreds of thousands of people flee Ukraine leaving their homes behind, our community is gathering supplies to send to neighboring Poland where people are arriving in search of safety. In Poland, Germany, and neighboring countries, people have been leaving baby strollers, car seats, winter coats, toys and more to help Ukrainian refugees. These gestures of kindness and support for complete strangers are a bold reminder that hate and oppression have no place in our homes and communities. It is a signal we are on the path to creating a world where everyone can safely belong.
If you would like to make a contribution to the local community drive to help Ukrainian refugees, please visit this link for more information.