Feds fund neighborhood violence prevention campaign

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Volunteers will begin knocking on doors in some of the most crime-ridden neighborhoods as part of a grassroots violence prevention initiative.

Organizers believe making the community safer starts at home.

As part of the federal Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative, the Metropolitan Crime Commission and KC Mothers In Charge received a $75,000 grant for this neighborhood outreach project.

Activists with Mothers In Charge say it’s important to listen to neighbors in an attempt to answer one question: Why are we so angry?

Those going door-to-door hope to build relationships by helping resolve conflicts, discourage retaliation and educate families about how the police and TIPS Hotline can work for them.

“I think what we are trying to do through programs like this is recognize that’s it’s not always a law enforcement agent, whether it be local, state or federal,” Mayor Quinton Lucas said. “It’s not always a doctor. It’s not always a politician going down the street and talking to people and saying, ‘What’s up?’ that can make a difference. Sometimes it’s a grieving mother.

Sometimes it’s a friend. Sometimes it’s a fellow young person. This is part of us being as creative as possible to make sure really that we are having opportunities for somebody to talk.”

Mothers who have lost children to violence may be better able to relate to the frustrations many experience in the urban core.

They hope to learn new ideas for stopping the bloodshed from ordinary folks who have to live with the risks of attack all around them.

The effort starts in the Town Fork Creek neighborhood, near 55th Street and Bales Avenue. It will concentrate on one neighborhood at a time.

Kansas City is on a record pace for homicides, with 19 already, so far this year.

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