As you can tell I am feeling better. Not 100%, but good enough to assist a lady with her blogging needs (a very pleasant experience by the way), do some homework, and attend a class. So that is good news.
So what is this post about? As many of you know I am attending college again and I am living in their family housing which is supposed to be an environment that promotes a safe and quiet environment conducive to studying and raising your family. Or at least that should be the message. I have written about life here plenty of times, usually the funny side of life in family housing-the cars that get booted, the Brazilian-style street gang of children, and the sub-community of Arabic people that impresses the hell out of us every time we see them work together or hold an outdoor gathering (the scent of their outdoor cookouts is close to foodgasmic as you can get).
I have resisted writing about the truly negative stuff for a variety of reasons, primarily because until recently things did look like they were getting better and maybe this is just a bump in the road, but the bump is large enough for me to take notice and be concerned. For some background when we first moved in here this court was “managed” by an overweight, 20 something single (NO FAMILY) drunk who didn’t even notice when someone parked across three parking spaces for three days in front of his courtyard. He was, by all accounts, a bad manager before we got here, but thankfully he was gone by the end of the year. That first year here there was garbage everywhere, there were children everywhere, cars sped through the court like they were doing a lap for a time trial, and the residents didn’t give a shit about anything or anyone.
During that year there was an attempt to organize the residents into an organization, which fell apart in part because the response to any resident complaint or issue was, “Call DPS (Department of Public Security)” or “Not our problem.” This was from two of the apartment managers. So the solution to the parking problem, the drug dealer, and the noise complaints is to call the police? Got news for you that is not my job and in the real world calling the police for minor complaints can get me in trouble. How about you, the apartment manager, do your job which is to take care of resident issues?
Year two, we get a new manager and things begin to improve. The child gang-gone. The garbage-picked up. The speeding-mostly gone. The noise complaints-gone until the end of the year. The residents start talking to each other.
Year three, now. The last time we lived in a place that felt like this place does now was the day, in Ypsilanti, the police showed up with shotguns and kicked in doors.
- I only have to look out my window to watch a man who does not live here strip off ALL of his clothes, put on new clothes and walk around the apartment complex twice while he waits for someone. That someone turns out to be one of five or six women living in the same apartment and with them are at least four children and three men (including the stripper).
- I only have to look out my window to see the stop and drops. What is a stop and drop? Well that is when a car pulls up, a passenger gets out and runs to the door makes a “transaction” and runs back to the car. Sure it may be completely innocent behavior, but it happens often enough that it stands out.
- I only have to look out my window to see the police show up once a week, not to issue parking tickets, but to do “something” in one of the apartments in one of the other courtyards. Prior to this year (which is only eight weeks old) the police stopped three times that I know of for comparison sake.
- I only have to look out my window to see the cars speeding through the lot again.
- I only have to look out my window to see at anytime of the day or night people who do not “officially” live here wandering around.
- I only have to look out my window and watch people, who do not live here, park on one side of the parking lot and walk over to an apartment on the other side of the complex. One time would be an accident, three or more is a pattern.
- I only have to look out my window to watch parents get their children inside as fast as possible. Children do not play outside, they did last year.
In other words the situation here has gotten worse and what is most bothersome to me of all is that there doesn’t seem to be anything in place to deal with these issues other than “Call DPS.”
I do not believe that it is my responsibility or the responsibility of any of the residents to call the police for every complaint that they have. I believe that the police should only be called in emergencies, not to issue tickets, not to deal with housing issues. To me that is a waste of resources. I do believe that is the responsibility of the managers, when they have the ability and power to deal with the issues.
So is it my concern, should I take an interest? Or should I close my blinds and unless they are breaking in to our place or car just wait out our remaining time here? It’s an interesting question to me because there is potential here, but there doesn’t seem to be the mechanisms or a solid leader to ensure that happens. Your thoughts are appreciated.