Why is Elliott Davis so passionate about helping the homeless? This Facebook post offers a clue
ST. LOUIS, Mo. — Elliott Davis started reporting at KTVI in 1980. You have seen him on television for decades covering government waste in his “You Paid For It” reports. But, you may not know that he grew up near the infamous Pruitt Igoe public housing projects.
Lately, he has been covering the homeless through his Facebook page. He is out at all hours in every season to show St. Louis what it is like to live in the streets.
Elliott Davis wrote this Facebook post last March. It explains some of his motivation:
“One of the amazing things about my journey from being a kid in the old St. Louis Pruitt Igoe public housing projects, and graduating from Vashon High School to becoming a news reporter is meeting a lot of kids who are growing up in the same type of inner-city neighborhood as I did. I get to talk to them about overcoming obstacles and the path of success.
It’s always priceless to see their expressions when I tell them where I grew up. I try to convey that where you started doesn’t have to dictate where you end up.
I’ve met a lot of people since I’ve been covering the plight of the homeless. Many of them have been told from an early age that they can’t make it because they’re black. I try to be an example of what’s possible. Going all the way back to tell them about how I witnessed legal segregation first hand. But how with a lot of work, from black people and other people of goodwill, we ultimately did overcome.
I tell them how I’ve seen enough changes to be hopeful of resolving other troubling issues. I think some see me, and the lights go on, and they figure that they too can succeed.
I sometimes stop and ponder the great journey of my life. I actually knew my great grandmother when I was a child. She was a slave. So it’s amazing to have a direct connection to that far back in the nation’s history. From there to here is truly amazing. I have the advantage of having seen a lot of history. I love relaying that history to kids in my travels and letting them know that there is a bright future for them if they grab it.”