Elissa Yount: This Hell is Reality for Many


After reading the article in Sunday’s News and Observer “Seeing the Invisible” by Gene Nichol, you will see Henderson as some live it and the sight is not a pretty one. Deplorable, disgusting, unjust, predatory, unconscionable, and evil are words that come to mind and these words are for all of us—not just that land lord and other land lords who profit from this.

Tina Pope is just one of so many living like this in Henderson. Is it any wonder that the land lords would not even agree to have the minimum standard of house inspections and livability standards for Henderson be the same as those for migrant workers? Is it any wonder they hide their property ownerships under LLC’s. And how about the role our city plays?  Just who did this inspection? Surely  these kinds of conditions did not just appear so this land lord has been profiting from this misery for a while. How could Henderson allow such a hell-hole to be occupied and rented?

We already know the answer to that. None of us will ever forget the family of seven living with raw sewage running down the walls while the Beacon Light Lodge continued to rake in the money. We should blame ourselves because we allow the ” New Direction” in Henderson to perpetrate this indecency. It is no need to wonder where the problems of education, crime, and health come from in this city as you have to look no further than the terrible housing conditions. But, most of us do not want to look. In this case, what you do not know does hurt you.

If you think Tina Pope’s house is dangerous, you might want to take a good look at some of the neighborhoods and especially at those neighborhoods where our local elected government officials wasted over a million dollars in stimulus money by building houses that no one wants. I cannot believe that this is the direction and the publicity any of us want in Henderson. But it is the reputation we have and until our elected officials care more about the good of our community and I mean our entire community and not just the “nice” side of town, and less about their almighty dollars, including their salaries, and until the elected officials stop  sending  the crystal clear message in this city that some of you don’t count as much as the rest of us and that some of you don’t deserve more than a mold-infested shack for you and your child because-after all- Henderson allows it! The Bible says “you will remember your ways and be ashamed.” I am already ashamed as we all should be. 

Elissa P. Yount