Prosperity in Porkville (A contemporary fable)
September 1st, 2019
by BettyBeth Johns
Community Development Manager
Wally Streeter was a wolf of ill repute. He held no title and was never elected to any position of authority, yet his intimidating stature and bullish behavior ruled the tiny hamlet of Porkville. He was a masterful marketer and took great pride in modernizing Suregood Forest by popping up single-family developments all over the community.
The Bacon siblings had fallen prey to Wally’s lure of ‘easy credit’ to access the dream of homeownership. They poured their life savings into plots of land in the Greener Pastures Development at the end of town.
Gilly Bacon, a high school dropout who believed he was destined for fame as a Wrapped Star, leaped at the chance to “build fast/save money/party today” and hired cheap labor to build a straw hut in a week’s time. He worked temp jobs so that he could be available for publicity parties and tanning appointments and networking meetings. He was content to claim ownership and move on to the next adventure.
Gwennie Bacon was practical and frugal, taking care to balance her building budget and spend only what she earned at the local furniture factory. Her stick house was trendy and minimalist. She was soon overwhelmed by the unexpected ‘hidden’ costs of homeownership, however, and found it necessary to pick up a second, part-time, job at Mallmart to avoid falling behind on her bills.
Garret Bacon was the thinker in the family. His engineering degree gave him the knowledge and background to seek out bids from highly qualified builders. He hired a contractor who, though not the cheapest, came with glowing recommendations from other homeowners in Porkville. Garret’s brick house was built slowly and methodically, with attention to detail and room for his dream of one-day housing a family of little piggies to take to the market and feed roast beef.
By the time Garret hosted a house-warming party, Gilly’s hut had been foreclosed and he was couch-surfing at Wanda Bees, hoping to work enough hours to save up the cash to rent a room at Fleabag Hotel.
Gwennie’s house was on the market. The pressure of living paycheck to paycheck just to meet the mortgage was making her sick. She had enrolled in community college and met a swell swine who had a room for rent. Gwennie was able to pay cash for her courses and still save a little for a future home. She was looking forward to a career in management, having recently received a promotion to Supervisor at work.
Wally Streeter stopped by Garret’s house-warming party. Though Wally huffed and puffed, Garret returned only graciousness and welcome. Soon Wally had changed his ways and started a nonprofit in Porkville that built solid, affordable housing for the Gillys and Gwennies who just need better guidance and encouragement to realize their potential.
At UCOM, we believe in building brick houses. It takes time and it’s not cheap, but it creates lasting community, with room for everyone.
Our workforce development program is rooted in grace and welcome. We help vulnerable people discover abilities and walk alongside individuals to craft a ‘life blueprint’ that meets the goal of living out a prosperous future. It’s not about finding a job – it’s about building a meaningful life.
It’s no fable. It’s hard work, and a privilege we take seriously.
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