My Neighborhood & The People Who Make It
I live in a neighborhood that is somewhat misunderstood. Unless someone has actually experienced living here, they probably don’t really understand what it is like. You see, my area is stereotyped as an area of social deprivation which means that there is a high rate of substance abuse, increased crime and poverty is above average. If you don’t live here then it is easy to look at the statistics and at the semi derelict buildings and make a snap judgment about the people who live here, but in the majority of cases your judgment would be wrong. You see, my neighborhood wasn’t always this way. Not too long ago we were part of a bustling industry town where almost every family had someone working in the steel mill, the textiles plant or the coal mine. However, when the industry moved out of town, that is when poverty moved in. Families moved out of the neighborhood when there was no work to be found locally and no-one moved in to replace them leave entire blocks of empty apartments. No-body wanted to take responsibility for them and a combination of vandalism and neglect has left most of them uninhabitable and fit only for demolition – if only someone was willing to pay to do it! However, all of this is superficial and if you look beyond the rather shabby exterior, you will find the people of our neighborhood and they are the ones who make it!
One thing that you might not expect in our neighborhood is the diversity in our community. We have a large population of Congolese refugees who relocated her 9 years ago from The Democratic Republic of Congo who were forced to flee their homes during the civil war. They were welcomed with open arms into the neighborhood and are now an integral part of it. They have built a gospel church and they spend time putting on family events all year round including summer fetes, Easter egg hunts and barbecues making sure to invite every single family in our neighborhood. There are now a new generation of Scottish Congolese who were born here after their families settled in the area. You might not expect to see that in a so-called socially deprived area, but here everyone is accepted. We also have large numbers of Polish, Estonian and Chinese residents.
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