From the Annals of Gentrification

This was on a neighborhood listserv earlier today:

Several neighbors in my block encountered a scam situation yesterday. Two girls approach the house and ask to walk a dog for $10 to donate to an animal shelter. Or they try to sell a basil plant for $15 to benefit a homeless shelter.
This is obviously a scam… The true sad part? An adult woman that walks
with them points out the houses that they should go to.
This happened last night in the 1900 block of 1st St NE around 7pm.
They knocked on my door too but I didn’t see the adult woman. I simply said “no thank you” and didn’t think much of it. Should I call the police when i see this? Child protective services?

Thankfully, there was a thoughtful reply: “There are other ways to view this. ¬†It’s incorrect to assume that criminality is involved. ¬†Perhaps this is adaptive, industrious behavior meant to support children in the absence of jobs, [TANF] and other sources of income.”

Still, I’m amazed at how someone can move into a gentrifying neighborhood and misunderstand so badly what goes on there. Kids trying to make money? Call the police!

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