We’ve already posted about the problems facing Detroit and Gary, Indiana seems to be even worse off. The economy was largely based around the steel industry however it has been in stark decline in recent years leaving much of the city abandoned and facing huge social problems such as poverty and ghettoization.
The following account was written by a former resident of Gary in 2008 who, as you can see, feels passionately about what people say about the city -
I was born, reared, educated in GI. I was born in 1964 and I personally have witnessed it's poverty and it's middle class population and much of what I've read has been ignorance with some truth but mostly, ignorance and sometimes ignorance can be the precursor of racism. Nevertheless, I am asking people to look at Gary, Indiana as a sample population of America's neglect of protecting it's economy. Hence, racism and ergonomics is what you should realize when you see the city, and it's devastating isn't it. To most people my comments will hit home but to others it will still be written off as banter. If you look at this situation from a distant perspective you'll derive or conclude something negative but, if you look at the status of America's economy you'll begin to understand why our economy resembles Gary, IN. In any poverty stricken land that is to say, Russia, Africa, China, South America e.t.c. there you will find the ills of society broken homes, drug abuse, prostitution, murder and in general atrocities of all kind -- simply characteristics of a poor economy and a poorly governed land. So, don't be so quick to pass judgement because these characteristics may show up on your doorstep. There are real people that live here and that love Gary for the same reasons that you may love your city.There is undeniably crime here but you'd be surprised to hear me and other people here tell you that they would much rather live in Gary than in Chicago, New York, Dallas, Charlotte, LA, Denver etc. Gangs like are described by some commenters do not exist like they do in LA or Chicago. All you have to do is go to the West Side of Chicago and you would notice the difference quickly! This may sound far fetched to the majority Gary's population has dwindled to a population of 75,000 as opposed to 100,000 or greater and with it has been also a cleansing. Gary, IN sits off 20% of the world’s fresh water supply and anyone who has ever lived in Gary will tell you we could sell bottled water from our kitchen. If you had ever lived in Gary and travelled you know how bad water can be in other cities and countries. What's wrong with Gary is the steel mill that sits in the center of the city where there should be a diverse economy not an industry that hires 3000 people and hogs up 9 miles of shoreline and contributes an insignificant amount of taxes because it was the center around which the city was built.The longevity of it's existence had made way for very formidable relationships with city, county and state leaders which are extremely corrupt and a total disadvantage for the families that live in Gary. Here was an inner perspective on what you see when you drive by and smell the sewage being recycled, an experience to those who drive by on the outskirts of town. I honestly, believe Gary is one of the finest places I have ever lived and I have lived in several cities and states. I have a group of friends that I grew up with on Hendricks St. in Gary and they all are college educated not in jail and live in just about every state and the highlight of their year is returning to Gary for a reunion. To the contrary Gary is the best kept secret in America! YOU SHOULD ROOT FOR THE REVIVAL OF GARY INDIANA BECAUSE AS GARY GOES SO DOES OUR NATION!
Location: Gary, Indiana
Category: Ghost Town
All pictures © David Tribby Photography