On the outskirts of downtown Detroit, like a wagon wheel branching out toward the suburbs lies a no man's land. It is odd really, the way this black hole of urban death is the gateway from a bustling metropolitan downtown Detroit and its ritzy and wealthy suburbia. One literally drives through a war zone to commute between the two well maintained areas. But we are not here to learn about the posh, we are here to talk about the ghettos of Detroit.
The industrial decline leads to loss of jobs, loss of jobs leads to loss of homes and so the housing market crisis gripped the city by the throat and turned what was once beautiful neighborhoods into a collections of foreclosed on and abandon property. It was not just the residents that felt the sting, but the small business owners as well, leaving Detroit ripe for the taking by the poorest and most criminal of society. To this day you may see one beautiful home standing like a rose in the middle of a landfill. It kind of messes with your head. Your empathy, spikes. Houses and businesses burnt down, their charred remains like black skeletons rising from the polluted ground. Others simply crumble in heaps of brick and mortar. Yet some inhabit the cavities of most of these buildings. You may find a homeless family “squatters” they are called, living in homes with no water, no windows, no electricity. You might find that in the house next door, some suburbian criminals set up a meth lab. It could be that if you venture into an abandon building you might find an underground drug trade drop, gambling ring, dog fighters, gang meetings… the list goes one.
And people die here. People die for no reason here. They starve, they murder each other for shoes and rims. Children run the streets with the feral dogs while the hookers look on from their posts under bent and broken street lights. There is no trash pick up. There is no ambulance services. There is...nothing. Nothing but decay, sadness, and struggle.