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Community leaders working hard to reduce gun violence

Published: Sep. 30, 2020 at 11:15 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - While there has been a lot of gun violence in South Bend, some community leaders said they are working hard to help reduce it.

South Bend’s Group Violence Intervention initiative has one goal: to stop gun violence.

This group has helped thousands of people over the years.

Community leaders said they work mostly with individuals involved in gangs.

“The police department does a statistical evaluation on who these individuals are. We get the opportunity to be the carrot, not the stick," said community leader Isaac Hunt.

The outreach team, Stand Against Violence Everyday (S.A.V.E.), works around the clock, meeting people in the streets, at their homes and building relationships.

“What happened to you? That’s the question we need to ask. Not why you are doing it," Hunt said.

Leaders said the reasons people act out vary.

“Not just having their basic needs met, but looking around their community, their environment, their neighborhoods, and all they see is blight...What it does is it touches you mentally," Hunt said.

The group also mentors kids at local schools.

“If you can stabilize the home, then you can help stabilize the neighborhood. If you stabilize the neighborhood, then you can stabilize the city...It is an amazing thing. I know the feeling because I experienced it. I had great people in this community that poured into my life. Even though they passed away it wasn’t what they left to me, it was what they left in me," said director of S.A.V.E. Canneth Lee.

This initiative is funded by the City of South Bend and Goodwill.

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