Heat and humidity seem to have been especially intense this summer. But it can be much worse at an inner city public housing project where there are few trees and other vegetation and lots of bricks and concrete that and retain heat.
So, wouldn’t a swimming pool seem nice, especially when your housing project already has one?
That’s what I thought when I visited Gilpin Court, one of Richmond’s 11 public housing projects. Housing 2,200 residents, many of them children, Gilpin is one of the worst ones run by the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority. It was built in the 1940s. Here’s my story in Style Weekly.
There is a swimming pool. But, the indoor basin has been shut down for three years and the RRHA says it can’t be fixed. “The pool is closed for maintenance and repairs and diminishing funds we have available,” a spokeswoman says.
In the meantime, the RRHA has been spending money on other things, according to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
- The RRHA spent $1,515 in 2012 to take 55 residents of Creighton Court, another project, for a bus charter to a West Virginia gambling casino.
- The former RRHA police chief spent $900 on a television and more for cable services for an emergency operations center” that didn’t exist.He and his wife also got to go to a conference in San Diego with a side trip to Las Vegas.
- Former authority chief executive Adrienne Goolsby, who resigned under a cloud in January, was being paid $183, 800 a year plus a $10,000 bonus. This is well above U.S. Department and Urban Development guidelines of $155,500 a year. The state governor makes less: $175,000.
U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) wrote to Goolsby last year asking for answers for these matters. His staff says he never got an answer.
Meanwhile, RRHA is being run by a temporary chief. No one seems to know when a permanent one will be appointed.
Gilpin children say they can swim at other city-owned pools or at Pocahontas State Park, which is 27 miles away.
One other takeaway: one hears a lot on this blog from writers about how the problems of poverty are a lack of personal responsibility. I guess if you grow up in a furnace like Gilpin, you just have to work harder.There are currently no comments highlighted.