Stories about life in Liddonfield housing project and its impact on the Northeast Philadelphia neighborhood of Upper Holmesburg. These true stories reveal how government policy affected the lives of real people, from the project residents to area homeowners during the 5 decades of Liddonfield’s existence. Stories and articles are written by a former resident of the project.
Aug 16, 2010
Does Religion Cause Poverty? Conclusion
Mom pointed out that there was a civil war going on in the north of Ireland and I could very well get bombed to pieces. I said I’d join whatever side would get me the hell out of here. I was more frightened of having state control over my reproduction than I was of any civil war. Mom knew how headstrong and determined I could be. I meant every word and would have surely done whatever it took to get back to America.
Mom said she couldn’t take it if I disappeared on her again. Then she suddenly stopped stating her case. Dad wasn’t adapting very well, either, she said, and that maybe it had been a mistake coming here. I agreed not to do anything rash until my parents had a chance to think it over and come to some alternative plan. I slept more soundly that night, relieved that I wouldn’t have to make my way through the war-torn north.
The next morning, I sat with my mother at the kitchen table, watching the cows through the window. The farmer had placed a bull in with the herd. It was mating with one of the cows. I never knew a bull could stand up on two feet like that. “Well, are we going back to America?” I asked Mom.
“Not exactly,” she replied, “What do you think about living in England?” Mom said England was more modern and a lot like America. We had relatives there who could help us get settled. One of our relatives knew a friend of a friend who had connections with the Housing Board, or whatever it was called (Their version of Housing and Urban Development). I agreed to give it a try. Mom wrote some letters and upon our arrival in England we moved into “social housing.” That is the British version of a housing project.
This concludes the series, Does Religion Cause Poverty? The conclusion is purposely open-ended, defying traditional (and restrictive) journalistic style. This is more of a personal narrative with a political bent. It does not strive to follow acceptable norms nor portray neutrality. Its purpose is to show from true life how the poor are affected by religious institutions.
Next week, August 23, 2010, I will write about my experience living in a British housing project.