KANSAS CITY, Kan. — People were coming and going throughout the day the stop the violence picnic. Even KCK’s Mayor Tyrone Garner made an appearance to connect with the community.

KCK neighbors are tired of the violence sweeping the nation and their own community.

That’s why for the past decade, Jay Sharp and other organizers hosted the “Stop the Violence” BBQ.

“We have seen the violence escalate over the course of the years,” Sharp said. “It’s been 11 years and it’s been a ball.”

It’s a chance for neighbors to address the violence and connect them to resources.

“Allow them to have access to some of the programs that are available in the community that they not be aware of,” Sharp said.

The Village Initiative is one of those organizations. A program called BEAM was started there by Micah Latimer. The program is to help at-risk youth stay out of trouble.

“If you have any kids 12-18 that need something to do or they need community service, if they need mentoring, we have that at the village,” said Latimer.  

“You have good people doing great things in our community. It’s positive. It’s about bringing neighborhoods together,” said Garner.

“We want to create safe and sustainable neighborhoods. Really, you got to start at home, number one.”

Sharp says while the increase in violence can be daunting, he hopes this bbq can be a light for people.

“We just try to help people understand there’s a lot of positive out there even with all the negative that is going on.”