In its final days, ex-residents remember golden days of Foote Homes

In its final days, ex-residents remember golden days of Foote Homes

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Foote Homes was founded by the Memphis Housing Authority in the 1940s with the purpose of replacing the slums with federally funded public housing. More than 70 years later, the homes are in deplorable conditions.

The state of Foote Homes has left former residents like Sandra Bland and her best friend Angela Kimble holding on to memories of better days.

Bland and Kimble lived at Foote Homes in the 1960s, back when white picket fences were in the place of now tattered brown buildings, missing doors and spotted with paint to cover graffiti.

"It's not where I grew up," Bland said. "I don't see the Foote Homes that I grew up in. The area has changed."

"Growing up in the Foote Holmes, it was one of the best years of our life," Kimble said. "Everybody was together and it was like a village, everybody helped everybody."

Memphis Housing Authority said the public housing neighborhood is just weeks away from demolition, which is set to begin in late November.

"Living in a place where it's unsafe, or unfit, or unhealthy, then you worry about the health and the different diseases and things; that's just not right," Bland said.

Bland said the condition of the homes are more than an eye sore, and they are now plagued with crime.

In April, a 15-year-old girl was shot and killed near the playground in the complex.

Despite the current state, Bland and Kimble said they want to remember the best of Foote Homes.

A celebration is planned for Saturday. All former residents are being called upon to come together.

"Therefore I think, knowing that it may not be anymore, I think that sparked the emergency to do the cookout tomorrow," Bland said.

An invitation video posted to Facebook has nearly 6,000 views as of Friday afternoon.

"The projects, subsided housing, the ghetto--whatever they call it, was home for us," Bland said.

Residents see it as a bittersweet goodbye to Foote Homes.

MHA said demolition will be complete by March 2017. They will plan on rebuilding, but residents will be displaced for several months and forced to find a new place to live.

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