Limited job opportunities and resources, a growing population and declining property value negatively impacted the neighborhood, opening the way for gang activity and for the growing drug epidemic. By the late 1980s, the situation had worsened significantly and a crime and drug ridden neighborhood largely became the Hilltop's identity.
However, in the late 1980s and through the 1990s, strong resistance rose against the current the neighborhood was being swept away by. Jenkins cites long time Hilltop residents who recall a network of individuals, churches, schools and community organizations working together with the city and police to initiate the shift that led to the slow revitalization of the Hilltop.
It was then that the Hilltop Action Coalition emerged. In 1989 the HAC was formed by the community and had a significant role in organizing a neighborhood block system for community policing, assisting the authorities to combat the drug and gang activity. Today, the Coalition is a non-profit organization of neighborhoods and businesses focused on empowering community residents through connections, friendships and information about valuable job, housing, medical and various other resources.