Essay about Transformation of Homewood West Community

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Homewood West is located on the eastern side of Pittsburgh and is one of the three neighborhoods that make up the Homewood community, along with Homewood North and Homewood South. Homewood West was once a thriving neighborhood with an abundance of upper-class families and an economy that depended heavily on the city’s railroad system, that made economic opportunities readily available and housing that was affordable and convenient (Allegheny County DHS 2010). African-Americans were the first to inhabit Homewood, However many whites moved into the neighborhood, causing tension within the community, during a time period where racism was still a major factor in society. According to the Allegheny DHS (2010), by 1910, Homewood’s population …show more content…

Now, Homewood West has a total population of 818 people, which has steadily declined since the 1950’s (U.S. Census 2010). This transformation has had some major effects on this neighborhood, making economic opportunities hard to find. A lack of quality education, and high crime rates have caused businesses to leave the area, creating vacant buildings and broken down homes, lowering the value of properties and the hopes of bringing businesses back to the community. Residents in Homewood are affected by all these things and have the community at a standstill, looking for ways to fix them.

Demographics and Crime

My first perception of Homewood made me a little nervous about the idea of going into a neighborhood with such a high crime rate, especially being a kid from a suburban area with mostly white middle class families. Going into a neighborhood that was 95.6 percent black was definitely out of my comfort zone (U.S. Census 2010). My perception of Homewood quickly changed however, once I started to talk to people there. To my surprise, many were well-educated and very welcoming, and ambitious people, striving to make the community better. Many of them noted the issues in the neighborhood, and stated that they had a lot of work to do but they made me leave Homewood West with hope.

As I started my journey into Homewood, I made my way down Franktown Avenue past the YWCA I started to see differences from the city and why a lot of residents are struggling to make

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