An area apartment complex once plauged with violence and crime welcomed a visitor from the North Pole on Dec. 12, 2006, for a little holiday cheer.
The Royal Arms apartment complex in Elkton, Ky., played host to Santa Claus as a part of its annual Christmas party. Children of the apartment complex recieved toys and other gifts as part of the celebration.
However, it was not always happy times for those at the apartment complex. WBKO's Ryan Dearbone discovers that after years of violence and pain, residents are now finding the light.
Three years ago you wouldn't find the residents of Royal Arms apartment complex gathered together singing Christmas carols.
"It was a lot of drug activity, lot of fighting, everybody just arguing with each other," resident Jonathan Wasson said.
"We had a lot of people that didn't know who lived next to them. They didn't know anyone in the buildings around them, but their children all played together," said Amanda Francis of the Todd County Extension Office.
Tired of the bad name the housing complex was recieving Francis, along with volunteers from Elkton Baptist Church, the social work office and the police department started monthly meetings at Royal Arms to try and clean up the situation. They said it was a slow journey but soon things began to turn around.
Since its inception back in September 2005, the community has recieved lessons in everything from how to write resumes and conduct interviews to basic car care. They have also thrown major events such as a block party and started a community garden.
"There's anywhere from 48 homes out here and we've had anywhere from 10 to 50 people probably more at the bigger events," Francis said.
Everyone says they see the immense progress that the once crime-ridden apartment complex has shown.
"They're straightening this complex up, which thats what it needed. I appreciate that very much because i don't like to see cops come by here everyday and they don't come by as often," Wasson said.
"You're not seeing as much trash laying around. You're not seeing all the people fighting. Not near as many people racing through here anymore. I'd say its been a 100 degree change around here," Francis said.
According to Francis the community is getting ready to start a neighborhood watch and other programs to continue their progression.