This June I attended the kickoff event for the Montford & Stumptown Fund of the Asheville-Buncombe Community Land Trust. Afterwards, because we were eager to learn more and to support the fund, my husband Kyle and I decided to host a house party fundraiser in our backyard. I’m so glad we did. 

We gathered in August to practice “neighboring,” a term found in the book Neighbors: The Power of the People Next Door, which teaches that “neighboring is actually sacred, or can be, and that it’s a real solution to some of our country’s most enduring moral disgraces.” 

Our conversations included honest reflections on the history of our neighborhood and the moral disgrace of the displacement of Black families over the years. We learned that there are over 300 land trusts across the country and about how this proven and successful model works. We committed to support the Montford & Stumptown Fund as a way to create and protect equitable, permanently affordable housing where we live. 

By the end of the evening, attendees agreed to continue to talk to our neighbors about investing in the fund through one-time or ongoing donations. We collectively dreamed of what is possible when neighbors work together to create a place where we all can thrive. 

If you’d like to host a house party for the Montford & Stumptown Fund, email To learn more about the fund, go to

I am very excited to be part of this emergent initiative of neighborhood-based generosity and community care.

By Rebecca Strimer

This piece was in the October 2021 issue of the Montford Newsletter.