Paying Respect to our Detroit Elders: Housing Narrative – Part 2
[Part two in a series chronicling our experiences assisting the Detroit Housing Commission (DHC). For further description, refer to our first housing narrative post.]
House No. 3: My car’s wipers intermittently clear our line of sight. My colleague and I drive past two vacant homes, a vacant school, three vacant lots, and a vacant business. Finally, we turn onto a block where most of the houses seem to be intact. The rain is pouring down and we are unprepared. Holding clip boards over our heads, we make a dash to the home’s covered porch.
We ring the doorbell. “Who is it?” an elderly woman yells through a door that remains locked. I answer that we are doing a survey for the Detroit Housing Commission. “I don’t know anything about a survey” she answers. I offer that she can call someone with the Housing Commission and she can confirm our presence with them. The door cracks open. She asks for ID. I offer her a photoless ID as I also start to call my contact at the Housing Commission. Handing the phone to her, she speaks to the person. After a brief conversation, she re-opens the door and only allows me inside. My colleague is left to stand in the rain. I begin the survey. The elderly woman silently follows me into every room. Continue reading