What would you do if the place you called home was demolished?
This past Tuesday evening my classmates and I had the opportunity to watch a screening of a new documentary entitled, “The Pruitt Igoe Myth.” The documentary revolved around the Pruitt Igoe public housing complex that was built in St. Louis in 1954, and talked about the problems surrounding urban poverty and the failures that can accompany public housing initiatives. However, the underlying story of Pruitt Igoe is not one of failure, it is the story of those who lived in the building, the people who called it home. Their lives were dramatically affected and changed when the decision to demolish Pruitt Igoe was made, because while they had experienced the poverty, crime, and substance abuse, they also remembered a place that had been their home, filled with memories of good times, as well as bad.
While watching the documentary I started to wonder how I would feel if my childhood home was no longer standing. The place where I experienced many firsts: my first birthday, my first Christmas, my first day of school. How would it feel to lose a place that holds so many memories? Would I no longer feel like I had a place where I belonged? Would my sense of security be taken away? I can only imagine how the residents of Pruitt Igoe felt as they watched their home destroyed in a single moment.
Therefore I ask, what would you do if you could no longer visit the home you grew up in, the schools you attended, or the church you got married in? How would that change and affect your life?