Community Group Aims Proactive Approach to Curbing Violence

We typically see community leaders rally neighborhoods to come together and unite in prayer after shootings or violent crimes, however through the Empowerment Network and Omaha 360, the goal now is to mobilize before tragedy strikes.

There's something powerful about the old and young sharing time togehter. Held in James Phelps' hands is a child of a neighbor. “It's all about the kids today, because the kids today are, they have nothing to do, no where to go," Phelps said.

Near 21st and Ames Thursday, another house was being torn down by Habitat for Humanity, Omaha. A former crack house Phelps informed WOWT 6 News. Equally important to him is the collabrative push to curb the violence trending the wrong way in the city. “To see something else going on constructive like this, I think that it should, if it doesn't change their minds about the ways of life that they want to take," Phelps sai.d

And there is a noticable push for community involvement in terms of getting ahead of the violence that seems to grip Omaha. A prayer waslk was held Tuesday near 42nd and Bedford. Organizers said it was about not living in fear, rather, helping neighbors here live a life they were meant to.

Another prayer walk is planned at 42nd and Redman next week, organizers tell WOWT 6 News, it is not about being reactionary to all the violence, it's time to step up and be proactive.

“I think doing it before, gives the neighborhood a sense of there is something we can do about this, we can be proactive," Jami Anders-Kemp said with Omaha 360. "Especially during the summer this gives us an opprotunity to talk about positive alternatives, we are going to plan a block party, we are going to have a job fair that was one thing that came out that folks said we need jobs."

Anders-Kemp believes that this agressive approach will catch on and lead to a decrease in violence in the area, which means for Phelps it's all about a future worth fighting for. “A lot of the people I knew as a kid growing up as a kid, either are in the pen or dead, and so I just want to see the younger kids now, have something to look forward to in the future." And worth waiting for.


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