Our Stories

In a Corner of Tulsa, One Neighborhood Has Become a Valley of Hope

Since 2016, LISC has served as the technical service provider for a DOJ Community Based Crime Reduction grant to Tulsa, OK. Three years, $500K and countless strategy sessions later, a community is reclaiming its home from crime and disorder. LISC Safety & Justice team member James Stark recently visited the community (now dubbed “Hope Valley”) and saw a transformation worth replicating in communities across the country.

The below excerpt and video are from:
61st & Peoria: Savanna Landing could be a lesson in how to begin reclaiming community from crime, according to grant researcher
by Corey Jones, Tulsa World

Above photo credit: Mike Simons

The clock is ticking on a federal grant program to improve the 61st and Peoria area through a holistic approach to crime and community. But positive gains have inspired optimism that successes in the recently christened “Hope Valley” are sustainable.

The city of Tulsa provided an update Tuesday on the status of a $503,000 Innovations on Community-Based Crime Reduction Program grant the city received from the U.S. Department of Justice in late 2016. The grant paid for a full-time police community resource officer for two years, a position the city said will continue with local funds. The grant expires Sept. 30, though the city has requested an extension until Jan. 31.

The policing focus in Hope Valley has been to bolster relationships, encourage the reporting of crimes and deter criminal behavior. Increasing availability to social services is another target for improvement in the area.

As part of the update, two research consultants presented information at the South Tulsa Community House, 5780 S. Peoria Ave., and heard feedback on initiatives and how best to carry triumphs into the future.

The Savanna Landing apartment complex — formerly called Fairmont Terrace — has consistently popped as a hotspot in crime statistics and is infamous for an execution-style quadruple homicide in 2013. The complex’s latest management now enforces a zero-tolerance policy on fights, which initially led to approximately 10 tenant evictions a month, a property representative said. The complex is also evicting residents who were involved in illegal activities, the city said.

Assaults there are down 20% to 25%, and burglaries at Savanna Landing have declined about 15%, according to statistics released in the update. In Hope Valley — the larger area from 56th to 65th streets between Utica Avenue and Riverside Drive — burglaries dropped nearly 30% and robberies about 20% — both percentages greater than the city as a whole, according to Tulsa Police Department statistics.

Continute to original article [+]...