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Old 06-28-2009, 12:30 AM
 
Location: The Greatest city on Earth: City of Atlanta Proper
7,899 posts, read 12,131,005 times
Reputation: 5692

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It seems there are many threads about crime in Atlanta and whether if it is worse now than it was before. Stats can only tell so much, so here is short video about the transformation of East Lake Meadows. In the 1980s it was called Little Vietnam and had a murder rate 18 TIMES higher than the national average. In fact it was one of the most dangerous places in the United States.


YouTube - East Lake Meadows Zone 6 Little Vietnam

It was places like this that created the notion that some people have that if you step foot in certain parts of the City of Atlanta you will be raped or killed instantly. In housing projects like East Lake, Techwood, Bowen, Perry, and dozens of others that was probably likely. This was where people were literally sitting around all day living off of welfare and doing little else.

What you should take away from this is that those places no longer exist. The Olympics and Cousin's donation to the city sparked the beginning of the end of the housing projects. In ordered succession since the early 1990s, the former projects were torn down and redesigned as mixed-use and mixed-income property.

Because of this, Atlanta today does not look at all as it was when I child. My family knew people in many of those housing projects and visited them frequently. The thought of instantaneous death, or kidnapping and murder during the Atlanta Child Murders period, were ever present.

Don't get me wrong, I do believe there has a noticeable increase of crime in Atlanta over the last few years. The difference being is that the types of crimes we are seeing right now are more so related to acts originating from economic hardship. While the attacks around Georgia Tech have been captivating, the real problem is the constant robberies of retail outlets.

So the next time anyone is quick to hurl out that Atlanta is a crime ridden heck hole from which it's minions are spewing out to terrorize the city, you can simply remind them that those places no longer exist.
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Old 06-28-2009, 07:59 AM
 
Location: St Simons Island, GA
22,794 posts, read 34,834,369 times
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I disagree, although I do agree that East Lake Meadows was a great success story in Atlanta's history. My dad and brother play golf down there frequently...that would have been unimaginable 30 years ago.
Yes, the projects have been demolished. However, the former residents did not simply disappear, but were simply handed vouchers and directed to Atlanta's suburbs. I read an article recently on the profound effect that this has had on law enforcement efforts...whereas police once were clear on where the criminal element was contained and how to focus their efforts, that is no longer so. Staying on potential trouble spots is next to impossible due to the 'suburbanization' of crime. Case in point is Clayton County (which really seems to have received the brunt of it), but even upper middle class neighborhoods like North Druid Hills are feeling the effect as evidenced by the recent attacks on women in the area.
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Old 06-28-2009, 08:12 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
3,515 posts, read 4,248,268 times
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I'd have to agree with LovinDecatur. It's nice that we've gotten rid of the craphole know as "Little Vietnam", but what of the people who use to live there? The women who had kids out of wedlock? The men went in and out of jail, and have virtually little to no employable attributes other than daylabor? The folks who were perpetual abusers of drugs? The prostitutes and the mentally ill who casted out by their families out of being too much of a burden?

There was a mindset, a culture, however dysfunctional that was created among those people of the former East Lake Housing Projects. That mindset/culture doesn't automatically change just because the people left their former grounds, at least not very easily anyways. I would like to see a study that tracks those people and the families around them who left the housing projects and see if living in mixed income neighborhoods actually will change a person's lifestyle.

When I see that, then you can convince me that this "crimewave" in Atlanta stuff is a figment of my imagination.
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Old 06-28-2009, 09:07 AM
 
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Most of the former residents were not aggravated criminals, however. This thread seems to be more about a diminishment in organized gang violence in particular - not fixing the other societal ills generally attributed to the extremely poor. We also all know it's nigh-impossible to change people unless they want to make a difference themselves.

And yes, it will be interesting to see where all this goes. Having a generation of kids who don't grow up SURROUNDED by horrible conditions is the goal... not erasing poverty, which is a different beast altogether. I think it's obvious that just displacing the poor does not make things "better" for them automatically.
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Old 06-28-2009, 09:54 AM
 
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Interesting. What happened to the residents of east lake and were they given jobs at the golf course or just forced to move out of the area?
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Old 06-28-2009, 11:37 AM
 
Location: The Greatest city on Earth: City of Atlanta Proper
7,899 posts, read 12,131,005 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LovinDecatur View Post
I disagree, although I do agree that East Lake Meadows was a great success story in Atlanta's history. My dad and brother play golf down there frequently...that would have been unimaginable 30 years ago.
Yes, the projects have been demolished. However, the former residents did not simply disappear, but were simply handed vouchers and directed to Atlanta's suburbs. I read an article recently on the profound effect that this has had on law enforcement efforts...whereas police once were clear on where the criminal element was contained and how to focus their efforts, that is no longer so. Staying on potential trouble spots is next to impossible due to the 'suburbanization' of crime. Case in point is Clayton County (which really seems to have received the brunt of it), but even upper middle class neighborhoods like North Druid Hills are feeling the effect as evidenced by the recent attacks on women in the area.
You make excellent points and I do not want my original intent to be misconstrued. I didn't mean to suggest that crime has been eliminated with the closure of the housing projects. It is a reality that the way the families were moved out could have been handled better. Not to mention there are still pockets of intense crime around the city, although it is my belief those areas will decline in violence once construction of the Beltline goes into full swing.

My only point was to show how the nature of crime in this city is different now than it once was. Gangs still do exist, but it is no longer a situation where they control large swaths of the city or concentrated in dense neighborhoods. It is more spread out now and because of that the question has changed from "how do we deal with this area" to "how do we deal with crime as a society".
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Old 06-28-2009, 11:40 AM
 
Location: The Greatest city on Earth: City of Atlanta Proper
7,899 posts, read 12,131,005 times
Reputation: 5692
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shagbark Hickory View Post
Interesting. What happened to the residents of east lake and were they given jobs at the golf course or just forced to move out of the area?
That question does not have a simple answer. Some people stayed in East Lake, others were transitioned to other housing projects, a large portion of the residents were given housing vouchers and moved to low income areas or section 8 housing in middle income areas, and yes some people were told to get the fug out.

This was not a situation however like you would see in say Mumbai where a slum is torn down, replaced with nice apartment buildings and the former residents were left to figure out where they would live on their own.
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Old 11-11-2016, 04:07 PM
 
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I went to school with a vast majority of East Lake Meadows residents and I can honestly say that everyone focused on publishing reports about the crime. I never seen anyone give a hand out or help individuals that came from there. I can also say there were a lot of success stories that came out of East Lake. The residents were and still are friends of mine. I wished we would do more to alleviate problems in our community than justtalk about it.
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