INDIANAPOLIS — After a deadly week in Indianapolis, community groups dedicated to breaking the cycle of violence hope an influx of cash can make a difference.
So far, we've seen at least 208 homicides this year. That's almost 30 more people killed than at this time last year in Indianapolis.
City leaders and local organizations are putting their heads together to prevent another record year of murders.
"I worry every night," said Erik Davenport.
Davenport has a lot on his mind.
"My phone rings on Wednesday nights. My phone rings on Tuesday nights. My phone rings on Sunday mornings," he said.
On the other end of the line is often one of the young men or women Davenport works with through the Pivot Program, which he runs at The Boys and Girls Club of Indianapolis on Post Road.
"We are not pre-judging," Davenport said. "We are meeting you where you are."
And for some of the 16 to 24 year olds who come through the program, that means already having a criminal record.
"We need to encourage. We need to train. We need to find out what the barriers are. The problem with crime is we are not addressing the barriers," he said.
Davenport said a $100,000 grant, money from the American Rescue Plan, will help in that effort. It's all part of an effort to curb violence. The Pivot Program was one of five organizations who received grant money after applying.
"We are not gonna stop crime," Davenport said. "What we can try to do is save some lives. Quit worrying about crime. Let's try to save some lives."
Davenport says that can be done by using the money to offer workshops to help people in the program get GEDs, a drivers license and expose them to other opportunities.
"We are trying to provide an environment where we can deal with your issue, get it corrected and then you can move forward. You're no longer in a life of crime at all," said Davenport.
Davenport is thankful the program is receiving the grant but says reducing crime is about much more.
"People in this society want to help crime," said Davenport. "Well what are you doing personally? Are you getting a gang of kids together? Are you coming down to volunteer? Are you donating money? What are you doing on a day to day basis?"
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