TULSA, Okla. — The South Tulsa Community House and Tulsa Crime Stoppers are working to help the people living in the area near 61st Street and Peoria.
Issues with crime and poverty impacted the area over the last few years. 2 News talked to a gang member who lives in the area who said the area is rundown and he feels like no one cares to help them.
The South Tulsa Community House sits near 57th Street and South Peoria Avenue but many don't realize it's there or what they do.
"Basically, we cover the area between 41st to 81st from Riverside to Lewis and that is what is referred to as the Riverwood Community, " says executive director, Lindiwe Chaza Jangira.
Along with food and home supplies, the South Tulsa Community House provides a host of other services like a business center, help with job loss and enrollment in Medicare and Medicaid.
"At the moment, we serve around 500 families a month and amongst those we have seniors who we serve on Fridays and vets who we also serve on Friday," Jangira says.
Customer, Ray Charles Johnson has been coming here for the past few years. He says this organization made a big impact on his quality of life.
"'It helps me tremendously because I don't receive any EBT or anything like that, so this store helps me a lot because I have to spend money at the grocery store. I don't get the EBT food stamps like everybody else does," Johnson says.
Johnson is a disabled veteran and told 2 News he uses every opportunity he can to give back to others.
"We got a lot of vets over here and there are a lot of people who can't make it down here and haven't signed up and sometimes I have too much food and I give some to my neighbors that's in the apartment to help them out," he says.
Along with the community house, Tulsa Crime Stoppers is collaborating with local apartment managers and police to revitalize the area.
"We all get together and talk about what's happening in the area and we have Major Brashears from the Riverside division in those meetings, and we also have code enforcement with the city of Tulsa that are a big part of those meetings," says Karen Gilbert with Tulsa Crime Stoppers. "Then we all get input from the managers as well as to what they are seeing on their properties and what we can do to help resolve those issues that they are experiencing."
Crime Stoppers also focuses on community policing.
"Through these community relations, that's the number one thing we have heard from these apartment managers is that we want a community police officer back out here," Gilbert says.
Popsey Floyd used to serve the area as a community police officer.
"Officer Popsey Floyd was out there every day, 5 days a week working with residents. The residents knew him, and he got to know them, and he got to build strong relationships and those residents really trusted him," Gilbert says.
Gilbert says the grant money that helped pay for that position ran out, so Floyd is back out on patrol. The Tulsa Police Department tells 2 News Oklahoma the grant was a contributing factor, so now the department implemented a community engagement unit that is responsible for the entire city.
Back at the South Tulsa Community House, there's a feeling of relief and thankfulness from customers like Johnson.
“They have done a whole lot of good things. They help me with bus tokens, and they help me with utensils and toiletries and try and help on food stamps if it’s available," he says.
Check here for more information on the full services that the South Tulsa Community House offers.
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