Personal Narrative: A Place In Atlantic City

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My girlfriend works in a clinic in Atlantic City that provides health care and social services to people with no insurance or have limited means of support. There are more places in Atlantic City that provide free health care, food, shelter, addiction and social services than anywhere within a days ride of the city. People drift down here from all over of the state, even outside of New Jersey, for a cot and a meal. After its decline in the 1950s, the city has attracted alcoholics, people with mental health issues, and those just down on their luck. Maybe it was the ocean and faded glamor of the city 's boardwalk and hotels, or the abundance of cheap housing and corner taprooms.
Sometimes I ride into the city see her when she 's on break, or
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The townhouses next to the lighthouse on Rhode Island Avenue were vacant. Other than some of the windows being boarded up, it didn 't look like there was anything wrong with them. They couldn 't have been more than 30 years old. The block between Atlantic and Pacific Avenues was cleared other than those townhouses and an unoccupied house across from where I once lived.

About half a block away, two kids, maybe 16 or 18, were walking towards me. They were barking out the lyrics of a song about inflicting violence on someone, and their body language gave me the impression they were jacked up. As we got closer, they got louder. We were the only ones on the block, and we were 5 blocks out of the tourist zone.

I 'm not an urban planner, land use lawyer, or a politician, and can 't understand why after 35 years of casino cash rolling into the city why the Inlet looks worse than it did in the pre casino era when the city bottomed out. When we lived there 50 years ago, the old rooming houses were falling apart, but people lived in most of them and they weren 't afraid to walk around at night.

In 1984, the New Jersey State Legislature established the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority. According to
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In Atlantic City alone, we have reinvested over $1.5 billion ... the CRDA has used casino reinvestments as a catalyst for meaningful, positive improvement in the lives of New Jersey residents statewide. In doing so, the CRDA has dramatically changed Atlantic City’s residential, commercial, cultural, and social landscape, while financially supporting quality-of-life improvement efforts throughout New Jersey. CRDA started with a substantial commitment to housing in Atlantic City. Over the years, we have reinvested over $350 million in housing and neighborhood development. We have built over 1500 housing units and have transformed the Northeast Inlet section of the City.

According to their lastest published financial statement , in 2013 they had $909,797,201 in assets, $592,740,013 in liabilities, and expended $4,199,618 for salary and benifits, $824,634 for administration, $726,920 for Professional Servcies, $20,149,055 for Projects Costs, and $226,818

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