Affordable Housing and Drug Epidemic

These walks focused on 22nd and 23rd Streets.

On 23rd Street, we picked up two additional walkers as we passed by.  One of the people is a regular attendee at our Wednesday bible study.  The other comes to church regularly and lives close by.

We talked with a woman who owns and rents several of the houses around the church.  She said that she is a former police officer and tries to work with people to provide affordable housing.

We talked with a man who one of our church members had grown up with.  We talked about the drug epidemic that spread through the community following the Vietnam War.

We met a young woman who was here leading a workshop with students at PeterPaul.  We helped her carry snacks in for the students.

New Vision Civic Association

We walked with the head of the New Vision Civic league on the other side of Fairmount.

She described how Better Housing Coalition worked with them in a process to identify what residents wanted their community to look like.

They wanted vacant lots filled with houses.  And you can see the fruits of their vision today.

Many of the younger generations have not taken over the houses of the previous generations.  They have moved away and do not have the same level of investment in the neighborhood.

Now there are younger people moving into the houses there, including the Better Housing Coalition constructed houses.  What will it look like for older residents to pass on their legacy of care for the neighborhood to the next generation?

History of Church Hill

One of our members led us on a walk in the area where he grew up near the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club.

When he was a child, there was a plantation house on the site where the Boys and Girls Club is located.  He can remember white men sitting on the porch in rocking chairs during the day and can remember KKK meetings as well.

One strip of houses near there housed the doctors, lawyers, teachers.  Teachers lived very near to the school in which they taught and were neighbors to the children of the neighborhood.

One woman we met, our church member said, was the prettiest girl around there and everybody wanted a date with her.