INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Mayor Greg Ballard announced a plan with pastors and business leaders on Wednesday to decrease black on black crime.
In 2013, 73 percent of murder victims in the city were young black men. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the number one cause of death for black males ages 15-34 is homicide.
“You just can’t stand by and let it go, you have to take action,” said Ballard.
Ballard told a crowd inside a north side community center that he has decided to pledge $75,000 to the phone number Connect2Help 211. That number, 211, connects residents to human services that are geared to improve quality of life.
Ballard’s pledge will hire more people to man the phones at the 211 call center. Those workers will help point parents who have problem teens to mentoring programs. The number will also inform people of services that help criminals get out of a life of crime.
“It’s a good step,” said Johnny Willis.
In the morning news conference, Willis told a crowd that he embraced the street life until his friend and brother got shot. That’s when Willis signed up for one of the programs offered called Prescription Hope.
The program takes residents involved in criminal behaviors and exposes them to classes, pictures, and life behind the walls at the Eskenazi Trauma Center.
Willis is in favor of troubled teens going through the program.
“I think it will work. People need to take the extra step,” said Willis.
Here are some of the other programs:
Alpha Resources Counseling Center
Reach for Youth, Inc.