Building a Tent City to Take Back a Neighborhood

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Residents of a crime-plagued neighborhood in Richmond, Calif., are trying to reclaim one of the city's toughest areas, the so-called "Iron Triangle."

They've pitched what amounts to a tent city, in hopes of discouraging drug dealers, gangs and thugs from doing business there. The tent city has had an impact, but even with so many people watching, some criminals refuse to leave.

Richmond has always been known as a tough working class town. But lately, it has been called the most dangerous city in California. The violence reached a peak last month, when a gunman interrupted a funeral and shot one of the pallbearers in the face.

That was the breaking point for Rev. Andre Shumake.

"You can not cure sickness until you acknowledge that you are sick," Shumake says. "And Richmond is a city sick with homicides."

In a parking lot in Richmond's Iron Triangle, Shumake and another minister opened a camp of a dozen tents, hoping to take back the neighborhood from those who have turned it into a killing zone.

With the support of Richmond and other Bay Area communities, the campers are taking a bite out of crime. There has been only one murder since the tent city went up.



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