Sulphur Springs has a reputation for violence, but some volunteers are working to change that.
Since last April, volunteers with Rebuilding Together Tampa Bay have been trying to improve the neighborhood through a housing program called "Building a a Healthier Sulphur Springs."
"We are hoping by increasing homeownership rates, we're hoping that the crime rate also decreases because when you have a stable neighborhood, you have a more secure neighorhood as well," program director Andres Izaguirre said.
But a year into "Building a Healthier Sulphur Springs," crime is still a big problem in the area. We reviewed arrests made over the last two years in the heart of the community and noted that:
- Between April 2014 and April 2015, there were two murder investigations and 140 arrests for battery or aggravated battery.
- Between April 2015 and March 31 of this year, there was one murder investigation and 144 arrests for battery or aggravated battery.
Although the crime rate has shown little change, residents are seeing the community effort to improve the quality of life in Sulphur Springs in other ways.
Recently, volunteers replaced resident Paul Foster's roof. He said the help lifted his spirits.
"It's nothing like being in a place that's falling apart, you know what I mean," Foster said. "It's picked me up as an individual."
Despite the numbers, Foster said the initiative is definitely making a difference for his neighborhood - one home at a time.