Good people feel trapped in bad neighborhoods
Living in violence is becoming an unfortunate way of life for good people feeling trapped in what they consider bad neighborhoods.
Just a block away from where the body of 24-year-old Robert Shorter was found Thursday morning, we found a new community vegetable garden. We also found good people working and, they say, praying to keep bad things happening to them and their children.
It is another tragic day in the neighborhood.
"We're just killing each other for no reason," said Sharon Noel.
"We can't go nowhere without people fighting or shooting," said Neka Sizer.
"It's nothing here. It's garbage," said Elizabeth Burton.
But among the trashed homes and sketchy neighbors, good people are living through bad circumstances.
"We stay to ourself. It's all you can do to not to get involved with this mess," Noel said.
Everyone told us they keep to themselves, often behind barred windows and doors. Burton keeps her teenaged daughter on a short leash.
"You're not going to walk around here at 16 with your breasts out, your butt out. You can't do that. You are not going to talk to me any kind, you are going to respect me. You are going to respect your daddy," Burton said.
Finding trouble is all too easy at any age.
"I wouldn't let my son play anywhere," said Hyam El Sayyad.
That's because outside El Sayyad's apartment, there's no good place to play. Monkey bars are outdated and the rest of the playground is no better and it's the best playground in the neighborhood. A maintenance worker found a body next to the other one.
Sizer and her sister have seen it all and steered clear. She graduated high school, has a job and plans to attend college.
"I got a little sister to look after, so I gotta lead by example," she said.
It's proof that even in life's thorniest places, if you look hard enough, you may find a few roses.