An Oasis of Safety in One of L.A.'s Toughest Neighborhoods

In the midst of a dangerous and crime-prone area, one small section of L.A.'s South central neighborhood has retained a lower-than-average homicide rate and higher-than-average property values.

The neighborhood's resilience is attributed to the high percentage of properties owned by occupants, and the fact that many of the properties are single-family homes. A neighborhood church also plays a part in the area's relative safety.

"[O]ther factors further separate the neighborhood from its more violent surroundings -- advantages that Harris-Dawson and others said cannot be easily repeated elsewhere.

The area is home, he said, to a generally older group of residents. The predominance of single-family homes instead of apartments means a less densely packed population and less turnover. And many in the neighborhood own their homes and have had roots in the area for generations.

The result is a place where people know each other, have an emotional and financial investment and don't take kindly to anything that might disturb the peace."

Full Story: Within South L.A.'s killing zone, a haven from violence



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