Kpoto considered “walking away” from his house, despite a $95,000 mortgage. A local police officer encouraged him to start a block club instead. Kpoto was shocked when more than 15 people showed up to the first meeting.

Today, Kpoto, 58, is proud of his part of Jordan, a mostly black low- to middle-income neighborhood where the average resident makes just more than $30,000 a year: “You can see how quiet this block is compared to other blocks.”

Looking among colorful prewar homes and manicured lawns dotted with tiger lilies and blue bells, signs of a second crisis emerge – one that threatens the financial stake and sweat equity Kpoto and his neighbors have invested.

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