I've written previously about my experiences in the welfare and public housing systems. That particular essay should rightly be viewed as the genesis of this blog.
As you can imagine, I'm a fan of Renee Glover.
“We’ve realized that concentrating families in poverty is very destructive,” said Renée L. Glover, the executive director of the Atlanta Housing Authority. “It’s destructive to the families, the neighborhoods and the city.”There is simple wisdom in those words. Words that echo the thoughts of that manager so long ago who shared his belief that we were engaging in apartheid.
But of course there will always be doubters and detractors.
“Until you have alternative housing that is affordable, available and appropriate, you have no business going into these communities and destroying them,” said Anita Beaty, the executive director of the Metro Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless. “To disperse these people without giving them alternatives is wrong.”Except they do. The Atlanta Housing Authority has relocated thousands and what Ms. Beaty does not tell you is her own "industry" has not seen a significant increase in business.
“What were they clapping about?” asked Shirley Hightower, a former president of the tenants’ association who picketed the demolition. “Clapping for a demolition? You’ve had generations behind generations behind generations living in this public housing. This is not a time for celebration.”I've worked at Bowen Homes and I'd clap. Ms. Hightower derails her own protest by pointing out there have been generations after generations living in Bowen and Techwood and Perry and Capitol. Three generations condemned to a walled off, disconnected slum but the next generation will live a future outside those walls of hopelessness. It is most certainly time for celebration.
Ms. Glover...hailed as visionary by supporters and condemned as ruthless by critics.For someone willing to grasp a Gordian's knot created by decades of govenment morass and incompetence , ruthless is not an insult - it's a job requirement.