Open Collective
Open Collective
End of Year Update!
Published on December 21, 2022 by Aza

Happy Winter Solstice and Seasons Greetings, to all of our sustainers, supporters, and partners!

We’ve been astounded by the amount of support the Raleigh community has shown for RUMAH in the 6 months we’ve been active. Together we have taken the idea of a community-owned community hub located (ideally) near the heart of downtown Raleigh, and turned it into an organization with a clearly defined mission and over $20,000 in available funds (plus over $2000 in monthly support!). We are currently within the last 20% of our goal for monthly sustainers, and are at the final points of outreach, ready to move forward to the next stage. As the new year rolls in, we are well positioned to secure a space and start fulfilling our mission to directly support our community and local mutual aid efforts.

During these past 6 months we have been steadily laying foundations, collectively planning, and practicing structures for the work we aim to do as a full-fledged hub. Our team has been raising awareness, collecting funds for our project, doing community outreach to groups that align with our vision, gathering input on where local organizations’ needs lie, and opening channels of communication with roughly 20 prospective organizational partners to date. We’ve met with local city council representatives and discussed the struggles faced by the city’s existing community aid infrastructure. Local businesses have hosted us for Q&A sessions where we share information about our hub’s mission and gather input from community members on how best to shape the space as we bring it together. Art markets and community organization gatherings have allowed us to spread the word further while returning support to local establishments that share our values.

Our steering committee is composed of four engaged individuals balancing daily life with various projects. It’s been a challenge to squeeze in unpaid work between paid work and everyday life, and we know this project would benefit massively from even one person’s full energy and focused attention. This has led us to decide, in the future after we secure the space we want, we will be applying for grants for employment funding. Having dedicated staff will ensure efficiency, reliability, and sustainability for our volunteers and community. We believe it’s in line with our values to negate financial barriers and make community support a viable way of life under capitalism. More information to come surrounding these plans in 2023. 

In the coming year we intend to put our plans into action. This includes signing a lease on a location that meets our needs (sufficient storage and organizing space, in an accessible location), begin operations to support our first-in-line partners such as Food Not Bombs, and expand our steering committee to include voices from partner organizations and active community members. Furthermore, we will begin hosting the community building events we’ve been brainstorming like the Oak City Really Really Free Market, Mutual Aid Spotlights, and various skillshares.

In addition to our original plan of operations, we are seeking to be a true resource distribution hub, having storage of bulk items for other mutual aid groups in NC. These bulk items will be accessible to all NC mutual aid groups in case of natural disasters, infrastructure failure, or any other sudden needs that may crop up. Our ability to receive free goods would be made possible by Distribute Aid, an international not-for-profit redistribution organization that searches for excess resources and directs them to areas of need.

We’ve received so much positive input and energy from our community and potential partners thus far, and we’re thrilled to finally be in a position to turn that energy into tangible meaningful work! We are exceedingly grateful for all your help and support! Below is a picture of the building we’ve had our eyes on. At the moment we do not know if we will be able to get it, but regardless of the outcome, we share it because we want you to dream with us.

In Solidarity and Radical Love,
Raleigh United Mutual Aid Hub

P.S. We encourage reading Food Not Bombs Raleigh’s recent update, to get an idea of what sort of mutual aid we will be supporting at our hub:

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