ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — “Together we can, if we take a stand.”
That is the message behind an anti-violence campaign launching this summer by United and Healing Through Hope of Monroe County.
Clay Harris campaigned for change Tuesday, at the same spot where a family friend lost their life in a 2015 shooting outside the Boys and Girls Club on Genesee Street that left three dead.
“We’re losing so many of our young people and our families on a daily basis.”
This is why Harris said the United and Healing Through Hope of Monroe County anti-violence campaign is bringing together churches, county leaders and law enforcement to offer anti-violence programs for youth.
“It’s not about locking little kids up, it’s about trying to keep them safe and I can tell you right now we aren’t doing any of that with the present system,” said Gates Police Chief James Van Brederode.
“You’ve got to put some services in place so when they have the negative contact, you catch them and bring them to a court, something’s got to be done besides just sending them home to the same environment,” said Chief Van Brederode.
Harris says one of the biggest reasons for youth violence is lack of community support. He hopes this campaign will reform current anti-violence programs and connect youth to services.
“They need to have love in their hearts and in their minds to be able to make the right decisions like love your fellow man,” said Harris.
The group will hold an anti-violence March and Rally on the June 5, traveling through all four quadrants of the city.
A Faith Conference Dinner for all Pastors, Clergy, Ministry Representatives was held Tuesday at the Hope Christian Fellowship on Lake Avenue.