I have lived in Odessa for quite a few years. I have to say besides being the location of Friday Night Lights I could not wait to get out of there. If Texas had an armpit Odessa would be it. The south side of Odessa has always had a high crime rate and being the bad part of town for as long as I can remember. It was a part of town that was on the wrong side of the tracks, you did not go there unless you were looking for trouble. The east side of town used to be a safer area. However with the highest crime rate, I have ever seen in my life there really is not any part of Odessa that is safe anymore. The western side of Odessa is primarily trailer parks and the area's highest hispanic population. Last year Odessa was listed in Time magazine as having the highest crime rate in the USA. 1 out of every 94 residents is a crime victim.
As far as a sense of community Odessa the born and raised residents are extremely friendly. This is a place where manners still matter and neighbors will help each other in a time of need. As far as the public school system, there are a few good schools in the area. However the majority of the schools are behind the schools in other communities. The health care system in Odessa is below par, there is a very limited selection of good medical doctors. I have known several people who have gone in for minor surgery at the hospital and died. The hospital always uses the same excuse, they were allergic to the anesthesia. If I needed any medical treatment I would take my chances on trying to get to Dallas.