Last updated Dec. 30, 2009   RSS

Promise and Peril in South L.A.

In a decayed pocket of South Los Angeles, gang violence is down, a flood of construction is underway and social services are pouring in. But police and residents know the tide could turn at any time. Can the neighborhood finally dig its way out from the ruinous epidemic of drugs and violence in the 1980s and ‘90s?



Shout, post, tweet or bookmark this page.

Date Stories by Scott Gold
Dec. 30, 2009 Living the American dream, with a gang twist
Some members of Florencia 13, one of L.A.'s largest gangs, live a suburban, settled lifestyle with good jobs. But they are proud of their ties to the gang, which they call 'the neighborhood.'
Dec. 21, 2009 A good move for South L.A. neighborhood
As part of a plan to bring affordable housing to a gritty part of town, city officials want to relocate a metal finishing firm charged with illegal dumping.
Dec. 4, 2009 Giving tourists a look at gang culture
A group of civic activists is preparing to offer bus tours of some of the grittiest pockets of the city, with profits funneled back into the community. Some of the particulars are raising eyebrows.
Nov. 25, 2009 Reinvention and intervention in South Park
A recreation area once claimed by gangs has been turned into a bustling community park with help from City Hall and the LAPD. But it took a former heavy-hitter in the local gang to close the deal.
Nov. 18, 2009 Philosophies clash in plans for gang intervention academy
Two schools, led by strong personalities, were supposed to collaborate on a curriculum. When the process collapsed, one of them won a bid to run the program and the other plans to appeal.
Oct. 18, 2009 Sending them away — for their own good
In a gang-plagued immigrant neighborhood, four children have in effect been banished by their family to another city -- not because of what they've done, but because of what they've seen.
Oct. 3, 2009 Bringing healthful choices to an unhealthy place
St. John's Well Child and Family Center sees 50,000 patients each year, roughly 30,000 of them children. It has vaulted ahead of the healthcare debate, moving the focus from sickness to wellness.
Sept. 24, 2009 Central Avenue is dreaming again
A new supermarket could be a part of the fabled thoroughfare's rebirth.
Sept. 17, 2009 A gang feud's fallout
A 'trivial' dispute between two former allies turns deadly, threatening an area's turnaround.
Aug. 23, 2009 'Tagging' or just hanging out — busted either way?
L.A.'s city attorney wants to give police the ability to arrest graffiti 'taggers' simply for hanging out together, without having to catch them in the act. The proposal raises constitutional issues.
Aug. 15, 2009 Encouraged to talk about it
A Catholic priest offers group therapy to troubled teens who had rarely shared their feelings before.
Aug. 2, 2009 Trouble with a South L.A. gang-intervention agency
Unity T.W.O., a high-profile City Hall contractor, was supposed to be a central part of L.A.'s gang-reduction efforts. But documents portray a troubled, overwhelmed agency.
July 14, 2009 At an impoverished housing complex, a reflection of South L.A.
Violence has long been familiar at the Pueblo del Rio public housing development. Crime is down and authorities hope new police tactics will help, but gunshots can still erupt without warning.
July 5, 2009 Program offers rays of hope in an area on the edge
In the wake of summer school cutbacks, the Summer Night Lights recreation program is seen as critical.
June 28, 2009 Gang interventionists distribute food, prayer — and a sense of change
Police have long been wary of those who act as liaisons between officers and gang members. Their delicate work is now seen as essential.
June 28, 2009 A different sort of academy
L.A.'s gang intervention curriculum is part self-help and part street smarts.
June 7, 2009 With crime in decline, a fragile sense of hope
As a wide-ranging LAPD injunction restricts gangs on their own turf, seeds of opportunity are taking root in an area that has long felt marginalized.