East St Louis


East St Louis Ghetto Story 

Today in the 2010s, the once famous city in St. Clair County  has become known nationwide as a trouble community of the East St Louis ghetto.

The history of East St Louis starts with many black families moving to the small city during the early and mid-1900s, for jobs in the railroads, factories, and the businesses along the river, while experiencing racial tension and jealousy that led to one of the country’s worst race riots in 1917.

The decline and change of East St. Louis and its surrounding communities began after the loss of jobs and the movement of many residents into newer areas like Collinsville, Belleville, and other suburban communities of St. Clair and Madison Counties, in Illinois.

Blacks would later begin to move into nearby towns like Washington Park, Centreville, Alorton, and the other neighborhoods of East St. Louis.

east st louis ghetto

With the loss of the major employers and half of the residents, the East Side of St. Louis began to fall into state and federal debt. This was followed by corruption within the local police departments and the local government.


The East St Louis gangs came about with the Chicago gangs of the Vice Lords and the Gangster Disciples being introduced into the city, and eventually given the East St Louis ghetto a reputation of one of the most dangerous places in the country.

With the lack of nearby opportunities and drugs thriving in the urban communities of St. Clair County, the East St Louis ghetto gained a number of negative labels, whether it was the “Murder Capitol” or the “Most Dangerous City”.

east st louis gangs

As the streets became active many neighborhoods began to build there on reputation.  East St Louis ghetto areas like the South End and JDS Project (James DeShields), the Gomperz, Haymoes (15th and Lynch), Da Hole (Norman Owens Projects), Deuce9, or neighborhoods along State Street like Edgemont and Parkside Tra.

east st louis ghetto

Outside of East St Louis, other communities of St Clair County are in Washington Park, Centreville, Alorton, Brooklyn, Madison, and Cahokia.

These areas of the East St Louis ghetto has ‘hoods like the Veltz (Roosevelt Projects), the Fireworkz Projects (Ernest Smith), or Parkfield Terrace off of Camp Jackson.


Currently, East St. Louis and the inner city of St. Clair County has become very dilapidated with 18% of the people in St Clair County living in poverty, mostly in the East St Louis ghetto, Washington Park, and Centreville areas.

east st louis ghetto

The media has label the crime rate of East St Louis as one of the highest in the country.

Crime includes the corruption within its local police departments and the local politicians that has led to State and Federal agents to help police the community and to also police the local police departments and government.

The community and the people of the East Side of St. Louis has for long had a reputation as being a part of town that consists of large amount of drugs, violence, corruption, and poverty, which seems to be the way most people outside of the community view East St. Louis.


Check out more on the St. Louis area from TheRealStreetz.com

*Note: All information is provided through people of the community, outside sources, and research.  Some information might not be current and/or 100% accurate.