San Jacinto was one of the city’s first residential and business districts. Hard working families could walk a few blocks to 6th Street and shop for groceries or clothes,watch a movie or even go for a swim at The Nat’s pool. Still today, along the historic route you can see the remains of those theaters, cafes, churches, drug stores and ballrooms. Surrounding Route 66 sits one square mile of what was once the heart of Amarillo. Traces of that vibrant past are now surrounded by broken side walks and decaying homes. This beautiful and historic area is now considered by some to be the most drug ridden, crime infested, sex-offender heavy and poverty stricken neighborhood in Amarillo.
In 2014, the Census Bureau estimates San Jacinto’s population is 5,467. Twenty percent of this population is under 15 years of age, 69.4% is over 18, and 6.8% is over 65. The once proudly owned homes are now 58% rental property. Scrupulous landlords living out of state own a vast majority of these rental units. The median income for the neighborhood is $27,000 with 85% of the families living below the poverty level. Thirty one percent of the adults in the community over the age of 25 have no high school or high school equivalency degree, and only 6% of the population hold a bachelor’s degree or higher. Within the past twelve months, the Census Bureau states 18% of the families have had no one in the home employed. Of the individuals employed only half relied on their own independent means of transportation. Furthermore, the once illustrious cafés and local markets are no more, leaving many residents to travel long distances in unreliable transportation to reach healthy produce and groceries. Most residents resort to supplement their meager food supply with Hot Cheetohs and Mountain Dew from the corner quick stop.
Yet, with all the decay of all that once was and all the haze of poverty and crime, within the neighborhood is a core group of families who want better. These hardworking, surviving individuals want the same opportunities and advantages they see in other neighborhoods. They are committed to cultivating prolific legacies for their children. They, along with caring community nonprofits and businesses, seek to restore the glory and goodness of by gone days. We are here to help make that happen.