Monday, July 1, 2013

Teach a Man to Fish

There was another cleanup this weekend.  This one was on a block that is well known for problems both because it looks so bad, has several vacant properties, and has a lot of crime.  I arrived a little late because I wasn't really sure which intersection everyone was meeting at, and I parked further away than I wanted.  There was a slightly smaller crowd this time and I only saw four people who were at the last one.

During the time I was there, I took a small break for a cup of water and to get out of the blistering heat for a bit.  I sat down next to a man who was sitting under the canopy drinking water and talking to some of the people there.  I introduced myself and he said that he lived on that block and had come over looking for work but when he found there was no pay he was uninterested.  I was floored.  This was his block, I explained.  What happened to the "pay" of doing a good job for the community?  He just looked at me probably thinking I was daft.  Later that morning, another man came over and asked if there were jobs available and when I said no and asked if he was a resident of the block he said he was not interested.

I was hoping that part of the project was to get the neighbors to help themselves after the first initial push.  I know the young man who is heading up this project and he has gotten some volunteers to sign up from the neighborhoods where he is working, but I don't understand the whole mentality of keeping you own block clean. Isn't that what a neighborhood is all about?

No comments:

Post a Comment