Oklahoma City and Tulsa, and even rural communities, struggle with areas plagued by economic blight. The telltale signs are abandoned homes, schools and other buildings.

Oklahoma City counts 945 abandoned properties, which can lead to lower property values and a hollowing out of once-vibrant neighborhoods, including the near-northeast, predominantly African-American area that is rich with history. This video includes interviews with former state Sen. Connie Johnson, who grew up in the Creston Hills neighborhood, and her brother Wallace Johnson, who still lives there.

The Oklahoma City Council declares a property abandoned if the building is found to be dilapidated or unsecured.

In this video series, “The Invisibles,” Oklahoma Watch profiles individuals whose quiet struggles in life reflect some of the larger issues facing the state. The series is made possible by a sponsorship from the Chickasaw Nation.


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Whitney Bryen

Whitney Bryen is an investigative reporter and visual storyteller at Oklahoma Watch with an emphasis on domestic violence, mental health and nursing homes affected by COVID-19. Contact her at (405) 201-6057...