Five organizations received grants from US bailout funds on Friday.
INDIANAPOLIS – After a murderous week in Indianapolis, community groups dedicated to breaking the cycle of violence are hoping that an influx of money can make a difference.
So far, we’ve seen at least 208 homicides this year. That’s nearly 30 more people killed than at the same time last year in Indianapolis.
City leaders and local organizations are working together to prevent another record year of killings.
“I worry every night,” said Erik Davenport.
Davenport has a lot on his mind.
“My phone rings Wednesday night. My phone rings Tuesday night. My phone rings Sunday morning,” he said.
Often on the other end of the line is one of the young men or women Davenport works with on the Pivot program, which he runs at the Boys and Girls Club in Indianapolis on Post Road.
“We are not prejudging,” Davenport said. “We meet you where you are.”
And for some of the 16 to 24 year olds who come through the program, that already means having a criminal record.
“We have to encourage. We have to educate ourselves. We have to find out what the obstacles are. The problem with crime is that we don’t tackle the obstacles,” he said.
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Davenport said a grant of $ 100,000, US bailout money, would help this effort. This is all part of an effort to reduce violence. The Pivot program was one of five organizations that received grants after applying.
“We are not going to stop the crime,” Davenport said. “What we can try to do is save lives. Stop worrying about crime. Let’s try to save lives.”
Davenport says this can be done by using the money to offer workshops to help people in the program get GEDs, a driver’s license, and expose them to other opportunities.
“We’re trying to provide an environment where we can deal with your problem, fix it and then you can move on. You’re not in a life of crime at all,” Davenport said.
Davenport is grateful that the program receives the grant, but says that reducing crime is much more than that.
“People in this society want to help crime,” Davenport said. “Well, what are you doing personally? Are you gathering a bunch of kids? Are you coming to volunteer? Do you donate money? What do you do on a daily basis? “
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