As funding dwindles, Ten Point Coalition seeks more volunteers
A group of neighborhood crime fighters, credited with helping to keep the peace in areas all over town, are struggling to do their jobs.
The Ten Point Coalition tells Eyewitness News they need more volunteers who are willing to go into neighborhoods and reach out to the disenfranchised.
Those neighborhoods are often places where where gun shots are a way of life. "Every night," said single mother Shanika Obannon. "Almost every night, gun shots, police sirens."
Obannon lives in fear everyday for her children, especially her teenage sons.
"My fear is that they will be murdered, that's my fear," she said.
That's why Obannon recently moved from the east side to West 36th Street.
"I felt it was time for a change," she said.
The group of men in yellow vests gathered on Obannon's street Wednesday afternoon said they are trying to be part of that change.
"It's up to us to save us," said 30-year-old Duane White, part of the Ten Point Coalition.
The group is made up of local ministers and volunteers who are on the front lines in neighborhoods, calming fears and tensions, once violence has occurred.
"Communication is where it's at," said White.
Now, though, Ten Point and men like White have been reaching out to neighborhoods before the trouble starts.
"Y'all see us with these vests on. We reaching out to your grandson, your nephews," White explained. He said he's been in the same spot as some of the young men he's meeting on the streets now.
"I didn't grow up with a father," said White. "The streets become your family," he added.
White and the coalition want to show there's another way. "We have to clean up what we messed up," said White.
Shanika Obannon's just glad they've come to her street.
"Our young black men need them," said Obannon.
This mother knows though, it's going to take more like them.
"It's gonna take more than just 2, 3, 4. It's gonna take a village. You know? It really is," said Obannon.
The Ten Point Coalition had received more grant money to get them on the streets four nights a week now. That money runs out in December.