Monday, August 25, 2008

Kennedy Park

Justin Ellis looks at Kennedy Park and wonders why it has so man problems. I have to agree with some of the comments that it is a fairly weak article. The why part is fairly simple:

alcoholism
broken homes
racism
drug addiction
domestic abuse
poor education
disabilities
laziness
language barriers

When you have too much of the above in a concentrated area, which is typical in low rent / subsidized areas, the problems tend to be exacerbated.

So that may be the why (grossly generalized), but the real question is what is the solution. You can read the comments on the story to see who is blaming who, but the question remains as to how to solve it.
"I just kept wondering 'why?' Why does this keep happening?

It was dusk on Aug. 16, and less than 24 hours earlier a man had been stabbed to death in a soccer field next to Kennedy Park.

I found myself walking through the neighborhood doing what reporters do after violent crimes – asking people questions.

But the question I kept asking myself was why does this keep happening in Kennedy Park? Why does it seem like things don't change?

As big of a 'small city' as Portland is, it seems like crime has been concentrated on the stretch of land between Munjoy Hill and Bayside.

Armchair social anthropologists and Internet trolls are likely to say it's because Kennedy Park is a public housing development, or simply 'these people bring it upon themselves.'

But that generalization is simplistic (if not ignorant). While Kennedy Park may have generated a file folder overstuffed with problems, it's still a neighborhood where people are trying to raise families and generally get by each day."

5 comments:

Porter said...

Sounds like my apartment building.

sickofmaine said...

I grew up in Kennedy Park in the 70-80's. It was poor, we didn't have much back then but we had a love for one another. The only time there was crime is when another nieghborhood caused some trouble. We could call that innocent now considering the crime now. I walked through there one night just to see the old hang outs. A somolian man jumped out in front of me and told me if I didnt give him all my cash he would shoot me. When I kindly told him to screw off he did indeed pull out a pistol and if it hadnt of been for my boyfriend throwing me to the ground and hopping on top of me the bullet would have probubly landed in my head. They are all part of the m16 gang most of them. I have never been more racist in all my life. They treat white people like shit plain and simple. I have spoken to some Portland POlice officers and they too are sick and tired of them. Disrespectful. That's the way your government made Kennedy Park. Alot of decent people grew up down there.

tim said...

We may have been poor that did not say anything of who we are we all need some were to start out!!!!

Holli Hamlin said...

POOR? That depends on your definition of poor. I always say " being rich doesnt always mean having money" you can be rich in values morals respect and thousands of others. I say i was happiest w the state block of cheese and a loaf of bread as long as i had what i needed(always could count on my neighbors for some sugar or butter or a whole damn meal if I needed) and a roof over my head. And not to mention how to this day I still hear how my mothers floors as hard and cold as they were, were always shiney and us kids were always bathed and dressed nice. And who woulda thought that me miss "park girl" woulda ended up being State Admin. For AFLAC maine and NH east for 2 yrs? Or doing client coordination at era homesellers? or a foster parent at 26? But that goes against what we were thought of. Am I just a park girl? yes and proud of my roots. I think I learned to appriciate the little things in life. I also learned to survive and the meaning of life in kp. I am a mom a daughter a friend a sister and yes a park girl.

Donna Patrick said...

Hi Hollie,
I am also a park girl, a college graduate, a school teacher ,paramedic, mom, daughter and friend. I learned a lot of life's lessons in the Park. How to treat others as you want to be treated. How to take care of others in need. How to respect my elders. I am just one of many success stories from Kennedy Park but somehow those don't seem to get told.