In September 2011 a violent home invasion occurred in the Glen Abbey neighborhood of Alpharetta and was widely reported in the news. This neighborhood was built by Jim Cowart Residential – a fact not reported in the media. Why? Because it’s irrelevant and doesn’t explain the crime in any way.
On Sunday a boy was senselessly murdered in Milton. Several local news outlets saw fit to mention that the neighborhood was built by Habitat for Humanity. Is this a necessary thing to report? I don’t believe it is. These townhomes are owner-occupied just like the homes in Glen Abbey. So why bring it up?
When you report a story in this way you’re making an insinuation in an ever so subtle way. And unfortunately some in our community are making very direct statements on online forums about Habitat communities and crime. It’s ugly, disrespectful, undignified and not appropriate so soon after such a tragedy.
The insinuation is that families that live in Habitat communities are undesirable or prone to crime or violence. The simple fact is that this kind of crime can occur anywhere. There are broken families in every neighborhood. There are people prone to violence in all walks of life. This murder could have happened just as easily in Windward or White Columns.
Habitat for Humanity does amazing work. Dragging them into this discussion is irresponsible. Let’s put this cowardly step-father on trail and not this amazing charity. And let’s not demean Habitat families who quite literally built their own homes in addition to paying for them.
Now is the time to mourn the loss of this young man and support his family and friends at Alpharetta High School. Say a prayer for them and hug your kids.