Tackling Indianapolis youth crime with a high five and conversation

Two groups are trying to combat youth crime in Indianapolis with different approaches. (WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Two groups are taking different approaches to curb youth violence in Indianapolis.

On Monday, a group of Indianapolis men known as the High Five Line, greeted kids as they got to Avondale Meadows Academy.

“We’re here cheering the kids on and really just trying to let them know we care,” organizer Preston Adams said.

This comes after Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department statistics show juveniles were either killed or suspects in 19 homicide cases from this time last year and in 2015.

While the high five line group had a visible message, another organization wants to help kids behind the scenes. On Monday, city leaders announced the “Your Life Matters” project that will use $700,000 in grant money to work with parents and kids.

“The whole idea is really to connect young people and their families to resources and services that are available to them,” Your Life Matters Executive Director Michael Twyman said.

Your Life Matters will help kids with school, and finding them jobs. The group will work with Hawthorn Place and Beechwood Gardens families on the city’s east side.

It was an announcement that thrilled parents in those neighborhoods.

“Now it’s giving people a way out,” parent Toi Pollard said. “No excuses. A way because actually in any projects or low income, it’s like a trap.”

“I think it’s well needed,” parent Morrissa Prunty said. “It’s long overdue.”

Whether it be a cheer, or career path, some Indianapolis parents say the timing couldn’t be better.

“When people start investing in people and showing that they care, and giving them a way out, some people will bite and some people may not bite; but at least they have no excuses to be able to bring them self up,” Pollard said.

The Your Life Matters Opportunity hopes to work with 240 kids over the next three years. It is a program organizers hope can serve as a model to get into more communities.

As for the High Five Line, they’re not done yet. The group plans to visit four more schools over the next month.

Comments are closed.