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The 600 block of Morningview is built on a hill. The area is notorious for gang activity, shootings and drug problems. But "The Hill" is more than that.
KENS 5 journalist Marvin Hurst has covered numerous crimes on the east side as a morning reporter.
SAN ANTONIO -- The 600 block of Morningview is built on a hill. The area is notorious for gang activity, shootings and drug problems.
But "The Hill" is more than that.
"It's home," says Mimi, who has lived here for two years. "It's just a normal particular hood where we hang and people go to work. People just hang out, but it's home, though. It's everywhere you stay at, though."
Mimi has four children of her own, but she's watching over more than them: She's viewed as a mother figure by most who live on the hill.
"People need to respect where we stay at. Just because people say the gun violence, the shooting and all that. It's going on everywhere. It's not just going on on Morningview. It's everywhere. But over here we're like victims."
Bill owns property on The Hill. He's an eyewitness to the community's culture. What has he seen?
"There's peaks and valleys. I mean, there's a lot of time when there's nothing going on, relatively speaking," he said. "There's other times when it gets busy. Busy as in crime, prostitution, drugs, shootings."
BORN INTO ADDICTION
Shorty is a neighborhood handyman on The Hill. He's a military veteran battling drug addiction.
"I was chemically born, sir. How 'bout that? Do you understand me now? I was born into addiction. Trust me. I know. My mother would give it to me and that was to knock me out so that she didn't have to deal with me because she didn't really want to.
"I didn't choose this life by choice. It was put on me, but it wasn't my decision to just let it dominate me."
When asked about his addiction, Shorty explained that he is "a chemically altered man."
"Yeah, I smoke crack. I'm a former crack smoker. And I'm a smoker today right now, put it that way."
FEAR OF THE HILL
"Jorge" (not his real name) moved to The Hill to live with his ailing mother.
"We call it Devil's Row. The name comes from the gang color that holds down the area. I got nothing but respect for that color," he said.
"I think my fear level is like a pain threshold," Bill told us. "It's a higher threshold. I've been a lot of places (and) done a lot of things, been in areas worse than this. I keep my head on a swivel. I don't walk the areas I know I shouldn't be walking in. I stand out in this neighborhood."
"It's your average neighborhood today," Shorty explains. "It is problematic at times. It's a hellhole at whatever given time. But it's just like any other place on the planet, pretty much."
GOOD DAYS ON THE HILL
We asked Mimi: Is 600 Morningview a rough block? Does The Hill have its moments?
"Yeah, it has its days," she said. "We have our good days. We have our bad days. We have our blessed days. We have our storms."
What are the good days like?
"Good days are like a walk in the park where you can sit outside and laugh, enjoy yourself, come home from work," Mimi said. "Everybody sitting outside. The kids sitting outside playing, you know, somebody even barbecuing."
"We got people that come out and feed the community and people that come out and talk to us, knock on doors and give out flyers. How can we help the community? Them good days."