Yesterday afternoon, a man was shot killed in broad daylight along Armour Boulevard -- apparently following an argument between two men. The shooting occurred at the 600 block of Armour Boulevard.
The shooting occurred just two blocks from a large, concentrated section of Section 8 housing along Armour Boulevard that I've written about before here and here. A couple of years ago the city, along with HUD, renewed 300+ units of Section 8 housing in a very small geographic area. This consolidation of project-based low-income housing has brought with it a huge amount of violent crime. Many of the residents of these buildings who are not involved in the criminal activity have become prisoners in their own homes for fear of going outside and dealing with the criminal activity.
Meanwhile, the direct vicinity of this consolidated low-income housing has now created its 3rd murder victim already this year. In 2008, while these apartments were being remodeled and were empty for the majority of the year, the area saw zero homicides.
It's not a coincidence. The consolidation of low-income housing -- creating essentially high-rise ghettos -- has proven itself to not be an effective way of dealing with low-income housing. And yet, the city, along with HUD, approved these buildings to be renewed for the next 20 years.
Most of these people deserve better. The neighborhood deserves better. Kansas City deserves better. The victims deserved better.
It is time to end the bloodshed. Tomorrow night, the Hyde Park neighborhood, along with folks from many of the adjacent neighborhoods are going to be having a meeting with local and state officials in order to discuss possible changes to the situation. If you care enough to make a difference -- come to the Central Presbyterian Church at 3501 Campbell at 7:00 Tuesday night, September 15, to listen, show support and make your voice heard.
We can and must do better than this.