"We need to be a part of everyone's life," said Bob Coons, who lives in the area of Baker Street.
Meeting at Emmanuel Lutheran Church, neighbors came to discuss ways they can get to know one another and watch out for each other.
"It's our responsibility to organize ... watch over each other, watch each other's back," said Sal Galindo.
Police found the body of 84-year-old Margy Lou Licastro dead in her home early Monday morning, the victim of a homicide during an apparent burglary. Her husband, 91-year-old Joseph Licastro, was not hurt. Licastro is a Pearl Harbor survivor.
Neighbors spoke of the need to offer support for the husband.
"Here's a man who survived Pearl Harbor, and his wife was not able to serve out her life in her own home," said Coons.
Angela Aceves also knows tragedy. In 2004, her granddaughter, Amanda Zubia, was tortured and killed. Her body was found stuffed inside a 55-gallon drum. That incident motivated Aceves to become involved in her community in east Bakersfield. But no more.
"Basically, I'm leaving," said Aceves. "I have a 10-year-old grandson I need to raise, and it's just gotten to the point where I need to get him to a safer area."