Welcome to the seventh and final Petal of the Living Building Challenge. These blogs have been long and many, and we appreciate you sticking with us as we navigate the twenty Imperatives. The past six Petals of Place, Water, Energy, Health and Happiness, Materials, and Equity have shown just how challenging building this home is going to be. To freshen your memory on those petals and their imperatives, we’ll show you that chart one last time.
Let’s play pretend!
However, there should be a disclaimer that the pretend play we are about to engage in, is not the fun, fantasy, imaginary world you probably conjured up and played in as a kid. This pretend play provides a glimpse of a reality that some of us have been blessed to not have to live. This form of ‘play’ outlines a real-life narrative with a real-life societal structure that pervades eviction and homelessness…and all the ills that are intertwined.
Ready?! (Remember, you had every option to stop reading at this point, and if you make the active choice to continue engagement with this blog, I hold no accountability…okay? Good.)
First, your name is Pam. Not your real name, but for all purposes of protecting the real ‘Pam,’ we are going to say your name is Pam. We are pretending, after all.
Alrighty, Pam…you’re pregnant. Seven months pregnant with your fourth daughter, to be exact. And Pam, you are adorable. You’re “thirty years old…with a midwestern twang and a face cut from a high school yearbook photo.” Your landlord decides to exploit your adorableness, and asks you to speak to reporters who keep showing up at your trailer park.
You see, the park you have been living in for the past two years with your boyfriend and three daughters, is facing the threat of being shut down and all tenants being forced to vacate the premises. Your landlord believes that you may make a “sympathetic case,” and that your cuteness and big baby bump can cover up the fact that the trailer park has had seventy code violations in the past two years, 260 police calls in the past one year, is considered a “haven for drugs, prostitution, and violence”….oh, and only recently had an “unconnected plumbing system” cause “raw sewage to bubble up and spread under ten mobile homes.”