Widow hopes to stop the violence, years after her husband was killed

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) –  A widow shared her determination to stop the violence, after her husband was killed years ago.

Delise Ervin-McDaniel is one of a few people who shared their personal stories at a community meeting Tuesday afternoon, put on by Senator Joe Donnelly (D-IN).

She says her husband, Sam, was killed in September of 2011 when he was shot in his car. Ervin-McDaniel says he was a reverend, who worked to help others, when he was killed.

She’s now attending meetings to curb violence, and is working to get the community involved. She was one of several at one of the community meetings Donnelly put on, who told him they’d lost loved ones to violence.

“We have to do something. We have to get involved,” said Ervin-McDaniel.

Donnelly held two meetings in Indianapolis Tuesday, both with the goal to hear from residents about how he can help from Washington, to curb crime in Indianapolis.

At one meeting in Haughville, people discussed the need for free after-school programs to give kids something to do, the importance of education, mentors, providing alternatives and jobs. Two other women spoke who said they’d had grandchildren killed.

Senator Donnelly says he is now working to pinpoint federal grants communities can apply for. They’re going to work with communities to design crime prevention plans, so they could potentially get grants, as well.

Ervin-McDaniel was one of many, who came with ideas.

“They don’t think they have a future,” she said, speaking of youth today. “We need to teach them the future. Teach them the green, teach them the windmills. Hope is everything. A little education, a certificate: that’s hope. That’s something to look forward to.”

Because for her, it’s a personal goal to stop the violence, to make someone’s future different than what it could be.

“Our kids are worth it,” Ervin-McDaniel added.

Senator Donnelly rode-along with police after hosting the two community meetings Tuesday, to learn from them and find out what they need.

He plans to take ideas and needs from residents back to Washington.

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