The Conclusion of The Return Home
The Return Home – Part 4
By John Spriggins
I built my first house in 2002; it is two doors down from my grandmother's house on the same street where I grew up, Holmes Street. South Dallas is much better today than it was when I was growing up.
St. Phillips School and Community Center has had a huge impact in changes that have come about in the area. They created the St Phillips Neighborhood Development Corporation. Through their efforts, they have been able to help several families build homes on otherwise unused property.
This has changed the make-up of the area. We have a pretty good mix of ethnicities in Forest Heights (the name that has been given to our section of South Dallas). While still a predominantly African-American neighborhood, Forest Heights now has several Hispanic and Anglo residents. I do not know all of my neighbors by name but I do know them by face.
The people in my neighborhood are extremely nice. Everyone pretty much keeps to themselves but everyone is also cordial. We don’t necessarily have an organized neighborhood watch, but everyone is watchful of one another's property. We do have petty thieves in the area. My neighbors are all hard working individuals who take care of their property without having a home owners’ association.
South Dallas continues to get a bad rap, mostly due to the high concentration of liquor stores, vacant lots, and homeless people that inhabit the area. These are definitely issues that need to be addressed. But since the population is made up primarily of elderly people, they don’t have the energy or resources to make a significant impact or the changes that are needed.
One thing I believe would help is concentrating on getting more young families to build homes here, which will attract business. As we all know spending power is what brings in business, just ask Frisco. What is also interesting is there is more land available in South Dallas than most people think, but that’s another conversation. We do have Fair Park, which is huge for South Dallas at least once a year.
I pray more like minded individuals would do what John did, and Return Home.