They spoke up against crime in their neighborhood. Instead of a thank you, a Nashville couple was shot at and watched their home burn down. They're now in the process of rebuilding their lives.
Instead of an evening in front of the TV, Terry and Melissa Knighton use a much older form of entertainment - a game of cards.
"You better not throw another heart," Melissa Knighton said.
The Knightons are without cable, along with a lot of other things. On Friday they had a bedroom set delivered, which they're only renting.
"It hasn't been as tough as you would think it would be," Knighton said. "It's definitely brought us really, really close and we've seen the goodness in the community."
But Melissa Knighton admits it's been hard to get help from community services. The same services which she recommends to clients when on the job at a nonprofit.
"I've never picked up a food box like that before for myself and we didn't have the social security cards," Knighton said. "We didn't have the proper documentation to pick up the food box so we had to leave."
All those important documents and their belongings were destroyed when their home on 17th Avenue North burned March 21. Jerry Cowan is accused of setting the fire. A few hours earlier, one of his friends, George Stewart, allegedly shot at the Knightons in front of their home.
They say that was retaliation for trying to get the crime off their street and away from the neighborhood children.
"They don't deserve that, no, grown men up under a tree loitering, drinking up under a tree, selling drugs, cussing, fussing and shooting," Terry Knighton said.
Terry Knighton knows that type of street life. He spent more than 30 years behind bars for various crimes. But instead of going back to that life, he called police on those he watched deal drugs.
"That was big, that's how I knew life is full of change," Terry Knighton said.
The Knightons hope change does come from their efforts, both in their old neighborhood and in others across Nashville.
"It's not going to stop everything from happening in the streets the way they do, but if it makes the slightest difference then it's worth it," Melissa Knighton said.
If you would like to help the Knightons, contact Street Works at PO Box 60037, Nashville, TN 37206 or by phone at 615-259-7676
Copyright 2013 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.