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    Posted August 16, 2012 by
    greenville, South Carolina
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    I wish this was ...

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    I wish these were A Free clinic, A Pre-school for at risk kids, a Health Food store, and a place wh


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     iReporter modestoam captured these images of derelict buildings in the area of Poe Mill in Greenville, South Carolina. "There is a lot of poverty in this neighborhood, these people have next to nothing and no-one is willing to tell their story," he said. His poignant encounter with a young homeless teenager typified the experiences of those living in the poorer area of the city. "He told me that the community was poor and most of the people there were a paycheck away from being out on the street," he said.
    - sarahbrowngb, CNN iReport producer

    I have been living in Greenville, South Carolina for a little  over 3 years now and i always hear about the great strides greenville is making in this economy, creating jobs, bulding new homes and how little greenville was hurt in the worldwide recession. Greenville is home to BMW north american headquarters, Michelin tire company as well as many of their suppliers and personnel. These combinations of companies and the need for their products has made Greenville, South carolina one of the economic powerhouses not only in the state but also in the country.


    I knew about most of these driving prosperous gains and i wondered to myself if there could be any bad areas in greenville. If Greenville had a slum or a neglected area where people lived far below the poverty line it had to be out of touch of the bustling downtown area where people couldnt see the plight of these people, right? and then i moved . I moved into an apartment about 5 miles away from downtown. I moved to that  complex because it  was super cheap. I mean this complex might be the cheapest in the nation right now thats how cheap it was. So cheap that my friends asked me if i was on Section 8 when i told them the price. I moved in and like normal i introduced myself to my neighbors. That night i encountered a young man. He was probably no more than 16 years old and he was in a hurry and i was still moving in. I said hi to him, we began talking, he cursed me out, and then he broke down and told me his life story.


    I cant remember his name for the life of me but he was trying to find out what time the homeless shelter closed. I knew nothing of a homeless shelter so close to downtown. i knew of one further away that would have taken him hours to walk to. He told me there was a homeless shelter that was around the corner from my apartment complex and thats why it was so cheap. He also told me that the community was poor and most of the people there were a paycheack away from being out on the street.


    This was Poe Mill a small urbanesque community that used to be, like many sc homes, a mill village. Many of these people bought homes when times were better. Mill villages served as a way where people could practically work where they lived. The mill provided the job (this mill in particular made 100% cotton T-shits) and you lived so close you could walk to work. The mill was established in 1897, and like many other mills went under, or just moved on. Leaving the people of this community jobless and looking for a better day in the shadow of affluence and the prosperity of downtown.

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