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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Poop War #23

I write about poop a lot. I know I do, but it is a major part of my day and it also seems to cause the most stress.  I have touched upon the issues of the lack of trashcans, businesses having a trashcan and then trying to tell you what trash you are allowed to put in it, and the ever popular fight of "Walk your dog on the street and use the trees! NO! Don't let them go on the trees, go to a park!  No, get them out of the part, kids play here!"

Today was a whole different story!  Let's actually go back about 2 months to when I was walking a dog past the section 8 housing at around 9am.  There are large grassy patches there and this particular dog likes the grass.  From behind me I hear a lady yell, "I HOPE you ain't bringing your dog here to SHIT!"   My reply was honest.  I said, "Noooo.... not specifically, but if she does I'm picking it up."  We then got into a discussion about how people are assholes and don't pick up after dogs, etc.  I told her very clearly that I will absolutely pick up after any dog I walk 100% of the time so she didn't have to worry if she saw me.  That was good enough for her and we went our separate ways.  There was some other babbling about how these are peoples houses, kids play right here (they don't, I have been walking past that corner daily for the better part of a decade), just use the side grass, etc.

Today, I was walking a dog nearing the same corner when the dog went up to the tree (across the sidewalk from the house) and squatted to pee.  From behind me I hear a SHRILL voice screaming , "Don't you bring your fucking dog over here to shit!!!!"  I whipped me head around in disbelief and said, "Whoa!!  First of all, she didn't shit as you can see.  Secondly, if she DID shit, I would pick it up.  Lastly, this it NOT your property.  This is a tree on the sidewalk and it is city property!" She said, "Yeah, it's PHA (Philadelphia Housing Authority) property!!!! " I told her that we had had this conversation before and I told her that I pick up after my dogs,  She said no, that was with her neighbor.  She told me to walk my dogs around my house, stay off that street, go somewhere else.... Wouldn't let me get a word in, wouldn't calmly talk to me - just came out of her door and verbally attacked me.  I yelled back of course because that is just who I am, but I chose my words carefully.  I didn't call her a bitch (she called me one) and I didn't drop an F -bomb (she did) because I was trying to maintain some level of respect (as she was about 60 yrs old).  The worst I could come up with in the heat of the moment was "Bite Me!!" Which only caused the reply of, "Yeah, bite cha ass bitch!"

The issue is over for right now, but this whole ordeal leaves me questioning people in this city yet again.  First of all, I know a few people who live in the section 8 housing in that development.  The people I know are wonderful and have no problem with me.  It seems that every block has their crazy representative though.  Up the street there was someone that didn't want us to park in front of her house because we were white and "Black people need to park too!"  Section 8 is low cost housing.  They can live there with a huge amount of assistance.

Funding
How do we pay our bills?
The Philadelphia Housing Authority has a $371 million annual budget that comes from several sources. (Our fiscal year runs from April 1 through March 31.)
We receive most of our funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
A small part of our budget - $1.5 million in state and federal money - comes in the form of grants. These grants are used for programs such as the Summer Food program.
PHA received $126.9 million in stimulus funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to improve and expand affordable housing throughout the city.
We bill $24 million in rents to our residents.

This also means that the housing authority covers outside maintenance (they mow grass, plant trees and bushes, clean trash, etc)  The parking lots, sidewalks, and grassy areas are COVERED in trash and empty drug bags, but THAT's ok for the kids to play in??  I walk a dog that pees on a tree not even touching your property and you yell at me like I threw dog shit on your front step!?
Bottom line is once again, I am doing my job and abiding by the law.  I get dirty looks wherever I walk a dog, whether it is in a park or on the street.  Nothing is right, yet there are thousands of dogs in the city.  People need to get off their high horse trying to boss everyone around and just accept that this is how it is.  
                             Dogs have to go somewhere outside. Deal with it.

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