When I was a little child, I remember when my city was thriving far and beyond what any loyal resident could imagine. People were happy and well fed. There were plenty of jobs. Anyone could work as soon as they graduated from high school. You didn’t have to go to college back then.
However, as the years marched by and the economy begins to change more rapidly, my city changed from thriving to surviving. The little town in Arkansas, named Blytheville Arkansas was faced with the specter of abandonment. Happy Saturdays had become boring. Streets beaming with wealthy looking cars had become deserted and the voices of cheer had been reduced to a few fake, stressful looking smiles.
The experience of living in an impoverished city occurred in Blytheville’s Arkansas, my home town, and Milwaukee Wisconsin, a city in which I spend the majority of my childhood. In both, experiences, I learned what it is like to live in oppressive areas. Below are signs that yourr city has become impoverished.
Massive unemployment is a sign that your city is in a state of economic collapse. Mall Anchor stores, successful businesses, and local investors have all packed up and got out of town. Long unemployment lines and a demand for unemployment compensation are in demand. You have put in hundreds of applications since last year but haven’t found anything worthy of your time and effort.
Even the local businesses are struggling and thinking about closing its doors. The money and consumer spending aren’t happening. You’re going to hate when or if Mr. Perkins closes the local restaurant that has been around since you were a small child. He wants to stay but there is no way to keep his margin from heading toward zero.
Wide spread Homelessness
In your city, wide spread homeliness has become common. Some people you wen t to school with are standing on the corner, drunk or begging for a few dollars to buy food. You are lucky enough to have old school parents whose house is already paid for and who receive a dependable pension.
The people you meet on the street aren’t’ happy. Most of them walk with bowed heads, avoid eye contact or heavily involved with their smartphones. ‘Making friends and influencing people’ isn’t in their plans today and hasn’t been for a while.
Even your relatives are not so happy to see you coming. Although they speak and offer small talk, they are struggling with finances as well.
Idleness on the Street
You see young men and women standing on street corners with absolute nothing to do. They have lost hope in finding fun things to do or becoming involved in the sponsoured youth program usually available for young people during summer school breaks. The funding for these programs just doesn’t exist anymore.
Abandoned Housing and Buildings
Everywhere you look, houses and buildings are boarded up. The grass is sky high and the ground is littered with all types of trash, including paper from bottles, broken glass, and scattered paper of all types.
Your neighborhood is starting to look like a ghost town, especially at night. None of your neighbors walk the streets at night for fear of being robbed or assaulted by men and women preditors looking for weak opportunities.
Gun violence, drug dealing, and strong arm robbery is a constant news topic. Peace loving people are afraid to come out side and sit on the porch or allow their children to visit the local parks. Your best friend was nearly shot while walking to the gas station a short distance from her house. The police seem to be looking the other way, even though the station is located down the street.
Public Transportation Shortages
Struggling people who desire to work are unable to get to their jobs on the outskirts of the city due to severe cuts in public transportation. Thousands of young men and women don’t own a car and are unable find opportunities to carpool. Although the local government knew of such challenges, it ignored the consequences and made the cuts anyway.
No Government Resolutions
Broken promises, red tape, and government bureaucracy are the Couse of the day when it comes to finding resolutions and passing legislation to bring hope to the residents of the city. Possible investments designed to create jobs are blocked or suspended indefinitely due to politics. Therefore, hope in the government is non-existent.
Welfare & General Assistance
If it were not for welfare and general assistant, many of the residents in your city would be in a situation of imminent danger. Hunger, starvation and the homelessness of thousands would be an ever increasing reality. The only reason some of your best friends have been able to survive is due to the monthly food stamps and general assistance they are receiving. It’s a tough life.
Living in an impoverished inner city does suck! You can stay or move out. However, we must take responsibility to do what is right for the good of all, especially bringing and keeping such issues in the public eye. The United States is still a wealthy nation. As citizens, we must stand up and allow our voices to be heard by the people we elect to run things, the very people who have promised us to hope for a brighter future.
Impoverished inner cities exist because we as citizens have forgetting to help one another by standing as a united front against all government stagnation and silence. If we commit to this outward conviction, then the hope of transformation is around the corner.