In cleaning out my "photos to blog" folder, I found a handful that were inadvertently skipped last year... next few posts are all catching up. I wandered my neighborhood, Wellington Heights, for a few days last August looking to illustrate a story on the impact of Section 8 housing on a neighborhood. It was a surprisingly difficult story to work on, and I ended up pretty frustrated. I would find great sources, only to have them deny giving me their name or let me photograph them. A cluster of National Night Out parties gave me a chance to at least capture some slices of life.
Bob and Donna Snyder (from left) and Angie Shultz gather on the 1500 block of 4th Avenue SE for one of several National Night Out parties in Wellington Heights in Southeast Cedar Rapids on Tuesday, Aug. 4 2009. Shultz and the Snyders have both recently made improvements to their homes, which are in a part of the neighborhood with a high concentration of Section 8 properties. Any more than four vouchers within a radius of 1,000 feet starts to have a negative effect on property values, and there are 40 Section 8 vouchers within a 1,000 foot radius of the corner of Bever Avenue and 15th Street SE.
Sabian Owens, 8, left, and Abbigail Laughridge, 9, wait for Sabian's older sister to go back to one of several National Night Out parties in Wellington Heights