Levens Street House

Polk Community Development Corporation is a non-profit affordable housing developer that has made the City of Dallas their home for nearly 30 years. They have built such housing developments in Dallas as Woodbridge Meadow Apartments, Rickreall Creek Townhomes, and the Jen’s Place Complex on Ellendale among other miscellaneous housing developments for Dallas residents with special needs many of whom have grown up in this wonderful community.

Currently they are preparing to open their newest house, the Levens Street House for Veterans. They have partnered with many local service providers and community members who have offered to help veterans currently experiencing homelessness rebuild their lives.

Each veteran will have their own bedroom and storage area, share a bathroom with another veteran, have use of the common areas with personal storage space in the kitchen for their cooking and eating ware, and dry food. They will share a refrigerator and freezer. Almost everything inside of Levens Street House was donated by the community of Dallas.

There are a total of five rooms to rent, one of them home to the overseer, that have been sponsored by local families. Each family has decorated, and provided basic essentials to help these veterans embark on this new stage of their lives. Most of the families that have sponsored a room have lost someone in battle and have a heart to give back to those that have served our country.

Veterans will be assessed by ARCHES in Salem before placed in Levens Street House. These are veterans that scale 1 to 5 on SPAT, have no mobility concerns (for the time being), and have been experiencing homelessness for a year or less. They may be suffering from possible addictions, but well on the way to recovery. Levens House is hoping to place their first occupant by the beginning of next week.

Polk Community Development Corporation is planning to expand on the property by designing and building a small apartment complex of similar design to house more veterans. They will be submitting their application to develop about 9 units in the spring. There is also a full basement that they plan to renovate, and convert into a rec room with more possible rooms for Veterans to rent.

If you would like to donate, or assist these veterans they reach out to Rita Grady at Polk Community Development Corporation. If you know a veteran in need of resources or assistance then contact either Veterans Services in Dallas or ARCHES.

Community Awards Banquet

This year marks the 62nd Anniversary of the Dallas Area Chamber of Commerce hosting the Annual Community Awards Banquet. This event is a time for us to come together as a community to recognize, honor, and thank those individuals and businesses that have made an impact on our community! Nominations are due by this Friday, January 11th.

The categories and requirements are as following;

First Citizen:

This award is given to an individual with wide-ranging, exceptional community service through volunteerism, a family legacy or long-standing dedication to the betterment of the community

Young Professional:

This award is given to an individual under the age of 35 displaying leadership and organization while highlighting our business community.

Outstanding Organization:

This award is given to a social service, civic, or community group located in or serving the Dallas Area that has rendered exceptional service to the community.

Business of the Year:

This award is given to a Dallas Area Business or organization of any size that is involved in the community and whose service has enhanced the quality of life or economic vitality of our area. This business may have demonstrated their qualification via community involvement, business location improvement or restructure in such a way that helps fill a business void in our community.

Junior First Citizen:

This award is given to an outstanding individual under the age 18. This person has made a commitment to helping Dallas and sets a good example for the youth in our community by demonstrating the ability to make good choices and inspire positive change.

Lifetime Achievement:

This award is given to an individual who has spent a minimum of 20 years making consistent and regular contributions to the Community of Dallas.

Know someone who embodies one of these categories? Get your nomination in today so we can have the opportunity to thank them for what they do to make Dallas the wonderful community we love. You can submit your nomination, and purchase your tickets by visiting our website or by clicking here.

The Ceremony will be held Friday, February 22nd beginning at 6 pm for cocktail hour, sponsored by MAK Metals. WE look forward to celebrating Dallas’ generosity and collaboration with you.

Special thanks to our sponsors:

Award Sponsors

Cocktail Sponsor

Silver Sponsor

Brixius Sweepstakes

Table Sponsor

  • Chemeketa Community College

Music Sponsor

  • The Grand Hotel

Start Today (Yesterday you said tomorrow)

The New Year is typically a notable milestone in time. It causes us to stop… and take inventory. We inventory our personal growth. We inventory our goals and aspirations, in contrast to what we have actually achieved.

“Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.” – Benjamin Franklin

This quote is all about the present. Too many people, myself included, focus on the past or on the future. We can lament the past, and plan for the future, but we can only get things done in the present, today. This quote urges us to actually do something today, instead of waiting until tomorrow to get started.

Why is it important to not put things off? Besides the obvious answer of it won’t get done, it also creates a kind of momentum. Newton’s First Law says that “An object that is at rest will stay at rest unless an unbalanced force acts upon it.” So there is momentum in sloth, delaying, procrastinating and all the other euphemisms for the act of not doing.

The opposite is just as important. Avalanches start when just the tiniest of pebbles or snowflakes bumps into just the right spot. All that pent up potential energy is released, and gathers speed, strength, and momentum. By putting off until tomorrow, you are robbing yourself of the “mighty momentum”.

Tony Robbins has a saying, “never leave the site of a decision without taking action.” Does that sound kind of like Benjamin Franklins’ quote? What Tony is trying to do is to get you to help yourself by taking a step, no matter how small, to start that momentum, to start your own avalanche.

What have you been putting off in your life? A project to do, something to start doing, something to stop doing, some habits that need to be modified?

Can you find a way to break it into a couple different steps? Can you break one of the easier steps into a few chunks? Find the tiniest chunk, and do it! Put that object in motion, and feel the thrill, the expectation and, at times, the terror of having started something. Then follow it up.

What I mean to say when I say follow it up is that one push alone won’t get it done. As an avalanche needs gravity to constantly pull on it, so your task will require your attention. Perhaps not as consistently as gravity, but you will need to continue to take steps toward finishing the task.

Friction exists in the real world, and it tries to slow the avalanche. Your task will face a similar counter-force. It may be apathy, being too busy with other “high priority” tasks, and distractions. By keeping after it, even in the smallest steps, you will eventually get there.

The New Year is here. You made your resolutions, now go.  Build that momentum, and see just what you are capable of.

Tailwinds and Flawed Theories of Self

“This is sort of a rambling post, so buckle up and get a death grip on your coffee, because I’m not sure where this is going either…

I saw someone write on Instagram recently that they feel like they have progressed in eight years what “any other reasonably fit person” could do in eight to ten months of training. I found I recognized myself in that comment, and also I found that I wished I knew the person better so that I could grab them by the shoulders and give them a good shake. It’s taken me a long time to stop feeling like everyone else who dedicated themselves to learning to ride a bike would be faster than me. After my first year of racing, I was able to turn that thought process in a positive (ish), much like the person I’m quoting here did — they talked about how they loved the process and how they had learned so much, etc., etc. But there was a still a tone of negativity in there, one that I was able to detect probably only because I once wrote nearly exactly the same damn post.

The way I coped with my belief that as this person put it, “any reasonably fit person” would be faster than me was not entirely unhealthy. I adopted a mentality of radical acceptance — you have no talent, I told myself, but that’s okay because you’re willing to work harder. You have no experience, but you’re willing to learn. Talent and experience don’t mean anything, if you’re willing to fail. Everything is going to be harder for you than it is for other people, but you will persevere.

So, not all bad. I mean, this attitude helped me through a lot of really difficult and frustrating seasons. After all, was I wildly and immediately talented at racing enduro? No, definitely not, and my ideas of embracing being bad at things and not caring about failure and being open to learning — all of those were good things. All of those ideas made me better. But at the base there was a problem. My whole theory was built on a shitty (and untrue) foundation. When I was positive and writing a blog post it came out like “you’re not talented, but it’s not about talent anyway” but when I was having a bad day or struggling with a trail or unsatisfied with my race results, it sounded a hell of a lot more like “you suck and everything is harder for you, you suck and everyone is better than you without even trying.”

So when I read this person’s instagram post, I couldn’t help but read between the lines and see “deep down I don’t think much of myself but look, I’ve turned it into a positive and I’ve used the whole ‘not thinking much of myself’ as a catalyst and an inspiration and look how far I’ve come despite the fact that at the end of the day I think that I suck.”

Here’s the thing — it’s good to be able to turn a bad thing (i.e. not having prodigious amount of talent) into a good thing ( a stronger work ethic). The problem is when it becomes a narrative about who you are. The problem is when it becomes a coping mechanism, a shield, a way of avoiding actually being your best self. The problem is when it’s not just an objective assessment (hey I’m not that talented but it’s cool), but rather an emotional, vitriolic attack on yourself (“you suck”). When that’s the case it doesn’t matter how you package it — it’s a big problem.

No, I didn’t come into mountain bike racing with a prodigious talent or loads of experience in a similar sport. But I had (and have) other advantages, ones that were often forgotten while I was busy explaining to everyone how little talent I had, while I was busy explaining away my mistakes and failures by saying ” well, I suck.” It’s a typical problem — as humans, we are quick to notice the wind in our face, and quick to take our tailwinds for granted.

When I read this person’s post, I thought a few things:

  1. Just like we are quicker to notice our headwinds, we are also finely tuned to notice the people who are faster/better/stronger than us. So when this person wrote “any reasonably fit person,” they were probably looking at just a select few anomalies — a handful of people they knew who had progressed insanely quickly. They probably forgot about all the people who showed up at the gym a handful of times and then quit. “Reasonably fit person” probably did not encompass every person who had ever run a mile or held a dumbbell over their heads. If it did, the perspective might be quite different.
  2. Eight years is a long time. Most people won’t work on something for eight years, especially if they don’t immediately have success. So yeah, maybe a lot of people out there COULD beat you if they trained solidly for 8-10 months, but they won’t. So who cares? Sometimes the hardest part is getting started, and even if there are a lot of potentially talented people who never got started (or quit before they really got anywhere) well, who cares? It doesn’t matter what other people could achieve, it matters what you do achieve.
  3. And ultimately, you’re doing something awesome, so keep doing the awesome thing and stop thinking about everybody else.”

– Syd

https://www.sydschulz.com/mountain-biking/tailwinds-and-flawed-theories-of-self