Bronzeville is a gentrifying neighborhood with a lot of history. Our plan is to reach out to many of the long-term small businesses that are still ongoing concerns in the community, including shoe repair shops, a tire repair center, a small motor mechanic, and the like. We will also reach out to the many new construction contractors in the neighborhood, including electricians and and carpenters.
We plan to use neighborhood apps, such as Nextdoor, to connect with neighbors that are active in DIY.
Once we gain momentum, we hope to enlist the support of the local aldermen and they can disseminate information about the group through their offices.
We may utilize some small amount of funds for advertising—maybe on Facebook—but expect that it will initially be used for a pot of coffee and donuts for expert volunteers of the cafe.
And our meetings will be held in public spaces—libraries, parks—so we don't anticipate more than token payments to secure such places.
There is talk of eventually buying a small sewing machine so that our elderly seamstress won't have to lug hers to the meetings and a small tool set to assist in basic repairs.
We see the repair cafe as a wonderful opportunity for neighbors to bond by helping one another. And a community like ours, one that has suffered from blight for many years, could greatly benefit from a way of reducing waste and trash.
We think it is better to re-use than recycle.
Finally, we are excited about the possibility of skills transference — that neighbors can actually teach each other skills that seem to be getting lost in our disposable society, such as shoe repair.