TULSA - The Fairmont Terrace apartment complex has been in the news since four women were gunned down there in January.
One family is making it their mission to bring some good to the area. Michael Salerno and his wife formed the H.A.N.D.S. Changing Legacies two years ago.
"When I was 12 years old my mom left me and my twin brother here, so I grew up here," Salerno said. "So I have a heart for the kids that are here."
They focus their efforts solely on Fairmont Terrace, working to get bus routes together to take kids and families to church since mid-2011.
"To me it was a no brainer," he said. "We've got to do something and this a perfect place to be doing something."
They've helped families get furniture and have held after-school activities, even a couple Christmas parties.
"This last year we passed out over 400 gifts and I think 44 or 45 bikes," Salerno said.
Such kindness has made an impact on those in Fairmont Terrace, despite the real-world problems facing many of its residents.
"They've helped me a lot," said Christal Ray, who has lived in the Section 8 housing with her children for the last four months. "As far as my kids, I've seen a change [as] far as their attitude, the way they act."
MORE ON THE MINISTRY (bit.ly/HANDSministry)
Rachel Adams has also benefited from the ministry and she says living at the complex helped her save money when she really needed to.
"It helped me to get on my feet go to school, get my education," she said.
Both women call the apartments a jumping off point. That's what Salerno says is the goal of his ministry.
"Helping them realize this is a starting place, it's not an ending place," he said.
To find out more about the H.A.N.D.S. Changing Destiny go to their website.
Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Also in the headlines
The National Weather Service says the tornado that hit Moore, Okla., was a top-of-the-scale EF-5 twister with winds of at least 200 mph.