Beset for decades with a myriad of social problems – poverty, single-parent homes and drug abuse – it has become a MURDER FACTORY spanning multiple generations.
Jermaine Davis, 34, a bright student who threw away his opportunity to go to college, is serving a life sentence for killing his boss in a 1993 restaurant robbery.
Fifteen years later, Jermaine Davis’ grandmother Sharion Beaver (left) and mother Lorrretta Nelson still have a hard time understanding the crime that Davis committed.
Latasha Davis said she has fond memories of her brother Jermaine, who always looked out for his younger siblings. The kids would play “school,” where Jermaine was the teacher and the “students” would go see the “principal” – a parent – if they did something wrong.
Royce Dudley, 27, got involved in drugs and gangs before he was a teen. He was 16 when he committed murder.
Vergie Dudley tried in vain to keep her grandson, Royce Dudley, away from the destructive pull of the streets.
Royce Dudley’s mother, Marie (left), with a photo of her children (Royce, top right and the smaller photo). Royce’s grandmother, Vergie Dudley raised Royce after Marie got involved with drugs.
In the southwestern corner of 64130, a wall separates modest homes on Brooklyn Avenue from the suburban-like Citadel development.
Jackie Stovall, daughter Jaleeah Stovall, 10, and family, have lived in their home in the 5500 block of Olive for three years. The vacant house next door was surrounded by overgrown weeds for about a year before they were recently cut. Drugs were sold from the house before it was vacated.
James Porter gets the mail through the barbed wire surrounding his car lot on Prospect Avenue, which was a once bustling commercial street running through the heart of 64130. He offers “free stuff,” shown in the lot behind him, to passers-by. Porter estimates that his property has been broken into 30 to 40 times in the last 12 years.
James Porter, left, and friend Rev. James Paden hang out in the office of Porter Investment Corporation. Porter leaves the board in the window behind him in place permanently now, after so many broken window repairs.
A neighbor said this pile of trash on Brooklyn Avenue between 56th and 57th Streets, in the Blue Hills neighborhood, had been there for months before it was finally carted away.
Kansas City police surround a house on Garfield Avenue between 43rd and 44th streets in a search for suspects involved in a traffic collision with a police car.
Officer Blake Brownlee (right) searches a teenager wanted for questioning in a recent homicide. Officer Matt Munson stands by. The suspect was carrying two rocks of crack cocaine.
A Kansas City man was shot to death in September in this red Kia, which was photographed in the city tow lot. The shooting occurred near 44th Terrace and Chelsea Avenue, in the 64130 ZIP code.
Officers Mike Livers (driving) and Mark McKenney have patrolled 64130 and nearby areas in their sector, for three years.
Youngsters peddle their bikes on Euclid Avenue in the Blue Hills neighborhood on an October Saturday night.
The Urban Ranger Corps, started by a retired Catholic priest, offers neighborhood teens the opportunity to learn basic home repair skills. They then get paid for putting those skills to work fixing up their neighborhood. The Rangers do calisthenics at the start of each day.
Program director Lloyd Cooper III, one of the adult mentors for the teen Urban Rangers, is a presence during drills.
Urban Ranger Markese Gunnels, 16, right, calls out during cadence.
Arshell Avery encourages her son, Markese Gunnels, 16, an Urban Ranger, to help cook dinner, which he eventually did. Avery said she knows that peer pressure and the negative influences of the streets can make it rough for kids growing up in 64130.
About 3,000 concerned citizens marched north on Prospect Avenue from 39th Street to Linwood Boulevard during A Call to Oneness weekend. The rally was organized by local clergy in response to a recent wave of homicides in Kansas City.
Andre Thurman with Aim4Peace speaks to students at DeLaSalle Education Center. Former gang members, ex-convicts and others with Aim4Peace, are reaching out to students. Part of the message was that because of their former lifestyle, they feel responsible for helping the youth now.
Angelo “Barefoot Pookie” White, a founding member of the LA Crips also spoke to students at DeLaSalle.
Ron Birmingham of Grandview cleans up the church he started up four years ago, A Special Place Family Worship Center, on 50th Street and Michigan Avenue. Birmingham said he decided to start his church here in an effort to take back the neighborhood from criminal elements.
Ron Birmingham leads a service at his church which now has a modest congregation.
After a service at A Special Place Family Worship Center in August, Marvez Jackson, 3, plays outside in the well-manicured lot where Ron Birmingham displays a signboard to residents of the area.
Following a desire to be his own boss, Joey Thomas, center, opened JoeyCuts Barber Salon in July 2008. He hopes to help out youths in the community with a center.
Mark Looney and fiancee Tenesia Sanders work on a house on 55th Street. Looney served time in prison for assault. His son was murdered at 17. He could not find work as a felon so he used the skills he learned to rehab homes as his own boss. He makes the homes available to people with bad credit and he also pays kids for helping out on weekends and teaches them skills.
Mount Cleveland Heights duplexes, constructed in the late 1990s, on Cleveland Avenue and 51st Street, are an example of the efforts to improve housing in the 64130 ZIP code.
Some of the people trying to improve conditions in 64130 hope that youngsters growing up today, like Lonell “Lucky” Boyle and Hasani Bakari can avoid the problems that befell so many other residents who’ve hailed from the area.