12/10/2010

Cabrini-Green Closes, A Sad Reality Of Public Housing

Remember Cabrini-Green?
(If you're as old as I am, you probably remember the TV series "Good Times". If you don't know what I'm talking about, go to Wikipedia.)

No more. The last tenant moved out yesterday, making way for the last of the housing complex to be demolished. (Click here for the story.) The last tenant was a 54 year old lady and her family. She didn't want to leave, the family didn't want to leave. She was a resident of Cabrini-Green for 21 years, and was forced to leave behind all of the memories of the "Burling building", as the tower was called in which she lived.

21 years of memories. Let's see:

The good: Raising families, the family debates, the neighbors, the parties.
The bad: Sniper shootings of police officers, the 1992 murder of a 7 year old as he held his mother's hand, and the absolutely brutal rape and poisoning of 9 year old "Girl X".

21 years of.....wait a second, 21 YEARS? 21 YEARS in the projects? Yup, you heard it folks. This brings up the discussion of "how long should an individual be in public housing". Now I've seen a lot of comments on both sides of this discussion. Some people are blasting her for "loafing off of the system", others say that we should leave her be. Either way, it is not our place to judge her circumstances, because WE WERE NOT THERE. In my opinion (I have to say "In My Opinion now because I know people are watching...lol), I don't think she was abusing the system. I think she was trying to make the projects a home, which (again, in my opinion) should not be.

However.....in my opinion there are some instances where individuals in public housing today ARE taking advantage of the system. You see, Cabrini-Green was opened back in the 60's, a completely different time. Young girls weren't having 9 and 10 kids en masse with 3 and 4 baby-daddys just to get a Link card and have the government take care of them. Young men weren't going around being deadbeats...and if they were you didn't hear too much about it, at least not to the level where it is today. But now....it is ACCEPTED. WTF??

My brothers and sisters, please understand what I'm about to say. In my opinion, if you are an able-body individual, it is NOT COOL to live off of the Government for the rest of your life. It is NOT COOL to be a freeloader because you can't put a rubber on, be on the pill or keep your legs closed. It is NOT COOL to have four baby mommas or five baby daddys. It is NOT COOL TO LIVE OFF OF THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. Now, re-read the last sentence three more times before moving on.

I was on the system. Yes, when I lost my job I had to get a Link card and accept government assistance. And it was the worst feeling in the world. I did everything within my power to get out of the system. I'm sorry but I am not one to wait for a handout. Now I know that there are some individuals out there that MUST be on the system (such as the elderly), but if you are an ABLE-BODY PERSON, YOU NEED TO WORK ON GETTING OFF OF THE SYSTEM.

But back to the last resident and her family. The moving trucks came, they loaded everything up, and as she walked out with the last of her belongings, the security officers closed the doors and sealed them shut behind her. She was moved to another housing development on the south side of Chicago, to an area that she really doesn't know anything about. I wish her well, and hope that God watches over her and her family.

End Transmission.

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