How It Works: Recovering Citizens in Post-Welfare - download pdf or read online
By Robert P. Fairbanks II
Of the a few sixty thousand vacant houses in Philadelphia, 1/2 them are deserted row homes. Taken as a complete, those derelict houses characterize the city’s plight within the wake of commercial decline. yet a better glance unearths a outstanding new phenomenon—street-level marketers repurposing enormous quantities of those empty homes as amenities for recuperating addicts and alcoholics. the way it Works is a compelling research of this restoration condo stream and its position within the new city order wrought through welfare reform. To discover what existence is like in those restoration homes, Robert P. Fairbanks II is going within one specific domestic within the Kensington local. working with out a license and unregulated by means of any govt workplace, the restoration residence offers foodstuff, protect, corporation, and a bracing self-help philosophy to addicts in a space saturated with medications and devastated by means of poverty. From this starkly brilliant close-up, Fairbanks widens his lens to bare the elaborate relationships the restoration homes have cast with public welfare, the formal drug therapy quarter, legal justice associations, and the neighborhood govt.
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Extra info for How It Works: Recovering Citizens in Post-Welfare Philadelphia
Malik’s harsh assessment reflected his developing entrepreneurial spirit and increasing faith in personal initiative, both of which grew ever more prominent during the time that I knew him. 2 The first of these partners was his sponsor, Frank, a middle-aged man of Irish-Polish descent who grew up in nearby Port Richmond as the son of factory workers. After quitting high school, Frank got a job in a Kensington textile factory, where he worked for over fifteen years until he lost his right leg in a conveyor belt accident.
Given the relative comforts of the setup, Malik suspected that Bilal was scared to make a move, a sign of weakness that he saw as contrary to the basic principles of both recovery and entrepreneurial ambition. What made him even more unforgiving was that Bilal ought to have had the financial resources to make it happen. mal ik : You see a lot of shit Bilal had, or could have got, or could have had, [he slept on it]. I mean, we could have taken Kensington by storm, but check this out, you know how shit happens, you just can’t get comfortable, and you don’t have to be [getting high] to get lazy.
On the first day that Malik took me to the Genoa Street house, he had a crew of women— volunteer labor recruited from his fiancée Blanche’s recovery house—paint- The Making of AHAD 33 ing the walls and cleaning out fallen ceiling tiles and chunks of plaster from the decayed walls. Separate teams of men from the 42 House were clearing chipped slate from the roof and bagging random pieces of heavy refuse from the backyard, as both areas had become illegal dumping sites during the two years that the house lay vacant.