MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Prostitution, violence and shootings plague much of north Memphis. Residents told abc24.com the crime is out of control.
Another shooting left one man in critical condition in the 1200 block of Hollywood Street Wednesday, September 28, 2011. If it's not a shooting, it's a stabbing and that's what residents see especially near Hollywood Street and Chelsea Avenue.
Despite all the bad news, they told abc24.com there are good people in the area trying to make a change.
“It's sad that someone got shot but God has blessed us to come back to our neighborhood to change it around,” said Minister Kris McMickens of the Homeland Church of Christ.
His church was in North Memphis but relocated to Raleigh. He still comes back to help his community. He found jobs for 23 of his old neighbors. Brick by brick, neighbors are cleaning up rubble at an abandoned warehouse. The construction job is right across the street from the latest shooting on Hollywood.
"We are stigmatized as a people. It's just too much. It's senseless. It's bothersome because black on black crime is too much going on right now," said Armondo Oglesby.
Oglesby has spent his life in North Memphis. He tries to ignore crime in the area, but it's not easy.
“It's getting worse because with the economy being the way that it is, unemployment on the rise, there's no jobs, and people don't have anything constructive to do,” Oglesby told abc24.com.
Oglesby hopes more of his neighbors will help clean up the community instead of turning to drugs or violence.
Almost 7,000 violent crimes were reported in 2010 in north Memphis. This year, there are almost 6,500 reports. Memphis Police told abc24.com they've maintained a major presence in north Memphis this year. So far, police officers have taken 500 guns off the streets.