HOUSTON, Texas — The ABC13 Neighborhood Safety Tracker can raise red flags about violence in the community, but it can also reveal neighborhoods where the streets are getting safer. That’s the case in Greenspoint, which has sometimes been called “Gunspoint” because of its reputation for crime. Residents in that community have made it a point to change that narrative, and what they’re doing is working.
Several community members said it’s not just up to the police. It takes people like business leaders, pastors, and youth and wellness advocates all working together to turn things around.
“I moved everything I had to this community after doing three funerals in a row of young adults. Triple homicide,” EA Deckard, pastor of Green House International Church, said.
Steve Moore has invested in several apartment buildings across the area. He said, “I had my car broken into twice, and I had my apartment broken into.”
Fatma Kalkan is also a property investor. Her company, Kalkan Capital, only buys multi-family properties in high-crime areas.
“Kids were not able to play in the parking lot of the apartment complexes, but now kids are playing in our play yards, ” Kalkan said.
The change in Greenspoint is evident. ABC13’s Neighborhood Safety Tracker shows homicides are way down from 2020, when there were 16 people killed in the community. Five people have been killed in Greenspoint over the last 12 months, which points to a 53% drop. Auto thefts are down by 4%, robberies are down 16%, sex assaults are down by 14%, and burglaries are flat. ABC13’s data shows a 1% increase over the last 12 months.
“It is very easy to turn around the neighborhood as long as investors, the city, the management district, and churches work together,” Fercan Kalkan said.
“We have movie nights, kickball games, and we brought law enforcement together with gangbangers to walk together in the park and create relationships, ” Pastor Deckard added.
Stephanie Kelly runs CDM Youth and Wellness, targeting youth in the community. “Our goal is to grab somebody, get them off the street, turn them around, then have them come back and help somebody else,” Kelly said.
“Still there is some crime, but nothing like before. This is our success. The success of all our community. Together, we did this, and we should be proud of ourselves,” Kalkan added.
“This community is an example of the potential of unity. So, we decided to come together regardless of if you are a Democrat, Republican, Black, white, rich, poor, law enforcement, or a felon. Everybody in this community has equal rights to be proud of being in a place no longer called ‘Gunspoint’ but a place to live, work, and worship.” Deckard said.
The leaders call it a model of involvement and connection that any high-crime community can use to take back their streets.