SALISBURY, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - Residents of Clancy Hill apartments told FOX 46 there used to be shootouts between rival gangs right in the middle of a busy parking lot. Now, it’s a place where kids feel safe to play outside.
It wasn't always like this. Shelby Marlin, the apartment complex manager remembers another time.
"Kids used to sleep under their beds. There would be rival gang shootouts here. Now, parents feel safe sending their kids to play outside,” said Marlin.
The change didn't happen overnight.
“We had to terminate a lot of leases, get involved,” she said.
Now, five years later, Clancy Hills is a place for families gather and have fun. They hosted a National Night Out event Tuesday.
It blew me away. I’ve never met an apartment manager who got teary-eyed about their community.
"They call me auntie or mom, whatever they need to that day,” said Marlin. "This isn't just a job. I love what I do."
National Night Out is just a small part of what they're doing here. Marlin says she’s helping each family who lives here so they can better help themselves.
"We're assessing the needs of every family and bringing the services they need to them. They don't need to get on a bus and find it," she said.
It was hard for me to believe an apartment complex is doing this, but to them, it’s the only way to take back their community from violence.
"We need to shop killing each other. This is a second chance."