I lived in a Detroit suburb for 5 years (left at the end of 2000) when my ex-husband's work sent us there. He worked for the DEA and it was extremely dangerous then even. But there are a lot of surrounding towns and people who still lived in the area at that time. They just didn't want to be in the city of Detroit. My mother lived in a southern state 10 hrs away and when I'd leave to come back to Detroit, I always told her, "Mom, I have to leave by "so and so time" because I don't want to be driving through downtown Detroit area late at night." Gangs were known to follow drivers to shoot them for "initiations". It wasn't uncommon to hear close gunshot and you just learned how to hit the floor immediately because the shots were usually at random houses. On Devil's Night ("Halloween Eve"), they'd burn their own houses down. It was crazy. They were trying to call Devil's Night "Angel's Night" in hopes people would stop burning down their own city. Most people seemed to be stressed out all the time and it's no wonder. What really amazed me were the neighborhoods on Lake St. Clair. You'd see these massive mansions the car industry moguls built in the heyday of Detroit and a few blocks away (sometimes only a couple), you'd find dilapidated slums with unpaved streets. A family member came to visit me and wanted to go downtown Detroit to see a hockey game and hang out at a restaurant or something. She couldn't understand why I kept telling her don't do that. Just park close to the arena, go to the game, and get out. She lived in a big city out west that was safe and she couldn't believe how bad it was. I am not surprised it has gone down so quickly. Who wants to live in a place that puts their life and their family's lives at risk?