GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. –In response to a December and January that saw many homicide investigations in Grand Rapids, community members are holding a series of meetings in an attempt to fight back back against the violence.
It was standing room only inside the Life Quest Church on Fisk Street on the city’s southeast side Wednesday night. Church leaders invited those living in the neighborhood out to discuss ways to reach the young people living in the area and hopefully end the string of violence.
The focus of the meeting was to get young people involved in the discussion, asking them what they think is behind the violence and what can be done to stop it.
19-year-old Kevin Smith was at the meeting. He said he knows people that have been killed and others that have been put in jail recently. He’s hopeful a good turn out at the meeting will bring about a real change but said he won’t be convinced until action is taken on the street.
Smith said, “It can’t just be this room of people. Number one, it has to be the parents that step up, it has to be male role models, number two and number three it has to be the police. They have to enforce more.”
The meeting at the church on Fisk Street was the second of it’s kind in a series of community events all designed to stop the criminal activity in the city.
Here is a list of the upcoming “Stop the Violence” events.
- February 5: Coffee with Captain Payne starting at 5:30 p.m, at 636 Bates Street S.E.
- February 7: Link will host a dialogue at GR Ford Middle School from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., at 851 Madison Avenue SE.
- February 21: Members of the clergy will discuss congregational care and development at 5:30 p.m., located at 618 Jefferson Avenue SE.
- February 25-28: The Urban League will host a discussion on mental health during the evening, located at 745 Eastern Avenue SE.
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