Discovering a Community in the Projects

Discovering a Community in the Projects

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Discovering a Community in the Projects

As I was driving through my hometown of Any Town, USA, I began thinking of the community and how it compares to other communities. Then an area of the town caught my eye. It is an area shunned by the citizens who do not live there. It is referred to as the "projects" or low income housing. This area has a bad reputation in the community. The children who live there are thought of as trouble makers, the adults, lazy. However, I noticed something different, something that the "outsiders" seem to neglect. It was neighbors that act like neighbors. The children were playing together and the parents were sharing events with each other. This conversing and playing is something I do not see much of in the other parts of Any Town.

In my opinion, this detached housing development was a closer community then all of Any Town. There is closeness between the people who live in those buildings that I have not seen in my own neighborhood. That bond between neighbors is what everyone says we have lost due to computers and other technology. As a result, low-income housing neighborhoods may benefit from not being able to afford things like computers. They benefit because the people of the neighborhood need each other for help, even with things as simple as homework. The richer the parents, the less interested they were in time at home. The poorer they were, the more interested (Snell 28). So these neighborhoods are built around people with low income, yet they prosper because of that. I believe that our society is dying due to computers and other things we now rely on. Things so materialistic as beepers, cell phones, and voice mail have become part of our survival. We do not even have to drop in at home to say hello to our family anymore, we just send a quick e-mail. People who do not rely on these technical things rely on each other for entertainment as the children do by playing together outside, to inform each other of current events, or even to chat face-to-face rather than computer screen-to-computer screen.

It is thought that it takes a community to raise a child, and a small community can accomplish that more so than a large one (Nelle 9). The small community within a larger one is able to prosper on its own because it has to, in a sense.

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It has to rise above the prejudice it has received from the "outsiders." A housing complex mentioned in the article "Dawn" talked about a place built on hopes and dreams, even if it is run down. "The people had their own language and music and codes"(Dawn 74). That quote explains the importance of a tight knit community formed from a building whose walls were built out of hope, not money or technology.

Thus, I have realized that I need to look at the bigger picture in a small place. Low-income housing may be thought of as a bad neighborhood lacking many things. Others think we are so prosperous because we own computers and other high-tech objects. We lack the more important things in life. We lack a sense of community where we depend on others for help, entertainment, and support. The "projects" of Any Town are a small touch of all the other places like it, the places we probably speed by in fear of the members of the neighborhood. From now on I will take a closer look at those neighborhoods and respect the people who live there, especially the hopes and dreams they live on. Every place has a bit of the Brewster Place in it, a place that will always stand tall in our hearts, a place built with the support of others.


"Dawn." The Women of Brewster Place.

DeGiovanni, Frank. "Connecting Capital Markets to Poor Communities." Review of Ford Foundations May/June 1997: 12-13.

Nix, Nelle. "The Cost of Consolidation." School and Community Spring 1995: 8-12.

Payne, Cindy. "Finding a Sense of Sommunity." and Community Winter 1994: 16-18.

Snell,Marilyn. "Homework time." Mother Jones May/June l997: 26-31.
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