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    Posted August 20, 2014 by
    Ferguson, Missouri
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Black Lives Matter protests (2014)

    CarolineCA and 14 other iReporters contributed to Open Story: Your view of police brutality protests
    More from CarolineCA

    Beautiful Ferguson


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     While visiting the Midwest, CarolineCA was inspired to take a trip from Iowa to Ferguson, Missouri, on August 19. She wanted to visit the St. Louis suburb after the story of Michael Brown's death gained momentum there through rallies and protests. "I wanted to see this town that looks so terrible on TV -- reminiscent of the Watts Riots and the Rodney King Riots -- to see what it was really like," she said. The only striking thing for her to see while there was the torched convenience store rioters burned down. Overall though, she found Ferguson to be pleasant. "It's a sweet little town, in my opinion, and the people were very nice," she said.
    - Jareen, CNN iReport producer

    I've never been to Missouri, Ferguson, or St. Louis before so I decided to explore this little town of about 21,000 people.

    According to the Brookings Institute the number of households living in poverty in Ferguson has doubled since 2000. The number of households using Section 8 vouchers to pay rent has almost tripled in that same time period.

    I think we all have so many stereotypes in our heads about what poverty is and is not, that I decided to photograph this town. Suburban poverty can be quite hidden. In the suburbs a person can have their 30-year mortgage paid off and live in a nice house while still needing to visit food banks twice a month to survive.

    I also took photos of the schools since they are closed this week as a precautionary measure. Even with an entire extra week off I didn't see one single child outside playing in the parks on Tuesday.

    There were some students at the library but the librarian asked me to use discretion about photographing them. I figured this town is under plenty of overexposure this month, so I chose not to photograph library patrons.

    Outside of W. Florrisant Road where protests continue, Ferguson is a quiet, clean, and lovely town.
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