A haze floated out of Glenwood and traveled down Tate Street to UNCG today as the first vacant home in Glenwood was burned in preparation for UNCG’s expansion. Some of the homes are being burned rather than simply demolished so that Greensboro fire fighters can train and be better prepared for their work, and that’s a good thing. And I understand that this UNCG expansion has been coming for a long time and that in general, this is the best option for development in Glenwood.
But I’m still sad. It’s hard to see a home on fire, to smell the smoke and to realize that everything is changing. I didn’t ever know people who lived in this first home to be taken down. It used to be a place called “The Lighthouse,” a rehab center (though I can imagine that trying to rehab from drugs in Glenwood could be an exercise in futility). But it was still a home. People lived there, had memories there. The neighborhood that I have devoted 10 years of my life to is rapidly changing. And as it burned, I noticed some of the poor of our neighborhood watching and Iwas sad at how little choice or say they have in the sweeping changes that are coming.
One person who read some of my concerns on facebook mistook my concern and sadness to be that the poor would not have housing options, as rent in Glenwood will inevitably go up in the coming years. But that was not my sadness. The poor are part of the fabric of this community for me. They are the reason I moved here and they have been used by God to teach me so much. I don’t want them to have to move from Glenwood and all that it offers.