Sunday, June 17, 2007

More stories from the 'hood

Chilling story in Saturday's Globe by Joe Friesen (Canada's Toughest Neighbourhood), where he paints a graphic picture of life and death in the Jane-Finch area.

Possibly one of the most frightening aspects of the story is where Friesen explains the gang boundaries, which even the city planners have been forced to understand and incorporate into how they deliver social programs:

In their planning sessions, community workers refer solemnly to “boundary issues” that impede program delivery. When the police hold consultations with youth, they have meetings in each distinct area to prevent rival gangs from mingling.

It's as though the kids have redrawn the neighbourhood map and forced the adults to adapt. As a result, the teens from Palisades, who often complain of having nothing to do, don't use the well-equipped community centre that's a block away in Crips territory.

The Sun's Lorrie Goldstein has an excellent column today that relates the unimaginable fear and terror that must exist living in this area. He explains the reason for the "No snitch rule" as being one of survival:

True, there are ways to tell the police what you know anonymously, but are you willing to bet your life, or your spouse's life, on them? Has there never been an instance where information that was supposed to be confidential somehow got out?

Goldstein then goes on to advocate for strengthening of the witness protection program.

Sitting in our safe little houses in the suburbs, it's so easy to chastise others for seeming to take so little responsibility for their own misfortunes.


Brian S. said...

I find it hard to have sympathy for anyone living at Jane and Finch because I have more than one friend who having found themselves living there through misfortune, also found it exceedingly easy to get transfered out and into much nicer housing projects in affordable places like Peterborough or Orillia. It seems to me that if you are not tied to a job, and are offered the choice to move your children to a safer place, and then don't take it, then you live there by choice and accept whatever cruel fate comes your way.

Anonymous said...

Yes it is easy to chastise, as you are proving every day, but scolding is what you do best.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Brave Anon.

PGP said...

Some people are very deserving of chastisement!
Especially when living at the expense of society and failing to act responsibly!
Politicians, civil servants and welfare recipients all in the same boat!

Anonymous said...

Scolding? What I read here simply sounds like 'opinion' to me.


Anonymous said...

Somewhat related:
Recently some relatives were carjacked in Detroit:injured but no guns involved(we are relieved!).Short story:the 16 year old and 14 year old were caught and will be charged with attempted murder among other charges.
The difference in handling the case is obvious:
-teens names were in the media.
-the cops were quoted in the media saying:'The 14 year old has been thru the juvenile system and it isn't working.'
-cops hands were not tied by a YCJA.
check it out: 'elderly ladies carjacked'June 14-16 Free Press) (ch 7 news Detroit)
If this happened here the kids would be slapped on the knuckles and graduate to guns.
Another sad observation: no dads around.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Another sad observation: no dads around.

Yes, there does seem to be a pattern there. Sad for sure.