ReThink Housing

Why Housing Matters

Home to Me

Home To Me

In 2014, we teamed up with Jewel to think about home and why it matters. As part of the 'ReThink: Why Housing Matters Song Contest with Jewel', hundreds of people from across the US entered and shared their stories. After two rounds of voting from the public and judges panel, a grand prize winner was determined: Silvia Kearney of Akron, Ohio. Inspired by Silvia's entry and those of the top ten finalists, renowned singer and songwriter, Jewel, composed a new song, 'Home To Me.' Read more about the contest, the entrants, and hear and download the song below!

2014 ReThink Housing Song ContestHOME TO ME
By Silvia K. – Grand Prize Winner

After all these years...this is what I know
Home is where I'm safe
is where I'm very strong
is where nobody hurts me
is where, I do belong.

Home is the warmth, the love,
is the familiar taste and touch
is the sweet wisdom words
and it is much more.

Home is where I start
dreaming all my dreams
where my imagination
has no limits and lives.

Home is the faces, engraved in my mind
is where the heart, the soul
and of course the spirit
will forever smile.

A Space Called Home
By Leonard H.

Oh how joyful it would be, to have in my hand an entry key
a place for me my very own, my space would simply be called a home
out of the cold I wish to be, looking out from inside would mean the world to me
I'll fill each room from ceiling to floor with lots of love, and so much more
taken for granted sometimes by those that are blessed, to have four walls of happiness
A place my space homeless erased
I guess I'm obsessed or it would seem, but having a home is my biggest dream.

By Katie W.

Reserved on the reservation
Always a hesitation
Looking for our destination
Found hope in the greatest Nation
Tiny mouths gave motivation
Fulfilled out preservation
Thank you to the Ojibwa Nation

As a single mother owning a home seemed like a distant dream. Even after earning a college degree with two small children, I was still stuck in poverty, renting and living in public housing in a rural community. But through the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community I was given a once in a life time opportunity, home ownership. Not only did they help with home loan, but with a down payment.

By Joan C.

Public housing is absolutely a must. If only my mother and I would have had public housing when I was little, how much better our lives would have been. We were the next thing to being homeless. Let's all stand up for all the homeless people, the needy people, the children, and make a difference in our world.

Little white house, looking all torn down
Standing beside the road, on the edge of town.
The porch was leaning, and the front steps were all gone
But it was the only place me and Mama ever called "Home"

That House I Called My Home
By Brent P.

I arrived there as a baby and left there mostly grown
It's such a part of who I am, that house I called my home;
It's the kitchen where my mom made me my first five birthday cakes
And the bedroom where I spent hours listening to my first oldies tapes;
In that house my dad told jokes that made me laugh until I cried
And then provided me with strength and comfort after my mom died;
It seems that in America, the greatest nation that we've known
That every child deserves a space like that house I called home

Through the windows of home
By Theresa S.

Home was the warmth of four walls, the hug of a roof over my head. Home was where memories were made with family. Five sisters who grew up together and went our own way afterwards. Home is the place you can always go back to. It is a place to regroup, to gain support. My childhood home was a place of learning, a place of closeness, a safe haven from the outside uncertainties. Home is a heartbeat, a pulse of living, a vein of hope and nurturing. Home was mom and dad. Now gone but still felt.

Home Is Universal
By Meagan G.

Home is an incubator. Hatched dreams need warmth to grow, safety to expand and shelter to excel. Home is pride in refrigerator drawings, sustenance in meals, memories in frames. Home is a provider, a friend, privacy, a known giving security; it lessens angst, builds confidence. Home fosters hope for pursuits, accomplishments, future. I talk with kids taller than myself and see innocence. I kneel to my kneecap, looking four year olds in the eye hearing about superheroes and princesses. I hold babies smaller than laptops, knowing they've begun journeys in worlds revolving around animal-and-mirror-dangling mobiles above cribs. Home is universal.

A house is like our skin
By Shelley-Ann T. S.

A house is our first line of defense against the elements of nature & each other. I grew up with a sense of safety and love knowing I always had a safe haven no matter what and it aches my heart to know some people do not. A house can be as basic as four walls and a roof, but it can also represent our identity and who we are. It is a vessel which captures some of our most precious and painful moments. If those four walls could talk they would probably tell the world who we are.

Home heartedly yours.
By Christa R.

Home is the Safe haven we surround our family with. It's the warm morning hugs while the wind whispers outside. It's the breath of I love you before bedtime dreams. It's the smell of comfort food sitting in your belly. It's the end of a long hard day of blistering work followed by listening to joyful laughs to ease the soul. It's the place you know with ease. Home is the place your heart sits, the place you can leave the world at the front door and the place where judgment of the cruel world doesn't reside.

Sunshine and Lace
By Susan Q.

Many of the children I work with don't experience the stability and positive memories created by a safe, warm place to live. The poem excerpt below is about how I grew up. Housing DOES matter!

Our old farmhouse had cracked old paint
The scent of wildflowers on cream colored lace
Rays of sunshine peeking through the screen door
To an antique table and a hardwood floor
It was a beautiful time and a beautiful place
Of sunshine and lace
Let's love those around us by making sure they have a safe, warm place to live!