Ewwww Poor People

That’s the title I gave one letter I got sometime back from someone asking about the area and expressing concern about one of Shaw’s many affordable/ subsidized housing blocs. I’d like to think that I gently addressed the writer’s concerns and pointed out that the affordable housing was one of the things that maintained the diversity of the Shaw neighborhood that makes it vibrant and unique. I know I didn’t say that diversity is sometimes a pain in the a$$, though that’s true too.
I was reminded of that letter at a blogger breakfast hosted by Bread For The City yesterday. I, Mr. ReNewShaw, and a few others got a tour of the 7th Street office. Let me throw out a few things that I remember from the talk, about 1/2 of the 7th St B4tC’s clients come from the 20001 zip code, and grand majority come from NW DC. The offices are crowded, there isn’t much space for the privacy that is needed, their legal offices handle Social Security, Medicare/caid (can’t remember), landlord/tenant court issues, and they need more space for a waiting area that can handle families. They are so hurting for space that the room where we were to have the breakfast was taken over by other folks in the few minutes the room was left empty, causing our group to move to a smaller adjoining office.
In the discussion after the tour we talked about what relationships could be built between B4tC, bloggers and the greater community and gentrification. Shaw is diverse, with race, orientation, age, nationality, background, and income and that is the thing that makes it interesting. And yes, the diversity can be too interesting and annoying. But to be diverse and remain diverse, the organizations and options for all persons along the economic spectrum need to be there.

4 thoughts on “Ewwww Poor People”

  1. There is nothing inherently ‘diverse’ about poor people. If anything, it’s the most homogenious group in the neighborhood. There is good diversity, bad diversity, and neutral diversity. The projects are bad diversity.

  2. If you paint the poor with a wide brush then you’ll fail to see the diversity.
    Shaw is economically diverse, so that will include various types of poor, working poor, non-working poor, retired/fixed income poor, poor students, people slowly moving out of poverty, formally middle class through divorce or other hardship- now poor, and homeless. And we have a range of middle class persons. I haven’t spent anytime really looking for wealthy folks, who as far as I can tell without looking at someone’s actual financials (and who’s silly enough to give me that access) are middle class living on credit.

  3. frequently i am asked by the media to comment for news stories. so often that i decline invitations regularly. If anyone would like to be quoted in news items please let me know and i’ll happily refer all press inquiries to u. my email address is rrwashingtondc@verizon.net

    for the record, i have no beef with B4TC but rather how is it that Shaw is the dumping ground for all these do good non-profits? no wonder middle class investors stay angry when another one of these pops up.

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