Hey N., I haven't read all of the responses you got, but I did read a couple.... between those and reading your update I can see you didn't really get advice. What you got was the cold shoulders of people who are too cynical to see straight. I raised 4 kids...3 from my first marriage and then a fourth in a doomed relationship after my divorce....and I so totally agree with you; raising your kids in a neighborhood that's filled with "trash" is an uphill battle~ to say the LEAST. I would do just about anything to get my family to a decent neighborhood. I worked 60 hrs. a week (while I was a single mom) just so I could live in an apartment that was in a decent area.... yeah, I sacrificed some time with my kids... but at least I didn't have to fear them running into druggies and derelicts everyday. I have been reading a lot about people who want to move, but cannot, for similar reasons to yours. The solution for many is to rent out your home(to respectable people)while you either buy or rent another place~ 'till the housing market bounces back. I've read that there are already signs that the market will be creeping back up(slowly)so you may be able to sell your home in a couple of years without losing equity. I would do some serious searching online for someone who's got a little expertise in this area.... but by all means honey.... don't give up. There's always an answer when you're willing to work for one. Your kids are worth it.... so is your family life.
Good luck sweetie, msg. me anytime!