Community meeting

Cure Violence hosting a community meeting tomorrow in Columbus

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) – The 53rd homicide investigation of the year is still underway in Columbus after a weekend shooting.

A city-backed initiative to tackle violent crime in Columbus wants more community contributions. The continued violence is the main reason the city has contracted a community program focused on reducing crime rates.

Tomorrow, Cure Violence will host a community meeting for those in areas considered most at risk of violent crime.

“What we identified was on a five-year trend. Most of the murders and homicides took place in those zip codes 31903, 31906 and 31907, ”said Reggie Lewis, co-founder of Cure Violence.

Some people who live and work in these communities believe in positive programs for children and youth.

“The solution is to open more gyms, more mentoring and do more things for the community,” said YMCA coach Jermaine Billingsley.

“The lack of opportunity plagues the community right now and it’s leading to the violence that we are seeing,” said YMCA coach Edmund Peabody.

Lewis says his group has spent most of the year researching violent crime. Now the group is ready for their next step.

“We are working in partnership with the Piedmont hospital, the pastoral institute, in partnership with the schools of the county of Muscogee. We are in partnership and actually have a memorandum of understanding with United Way, ”said Lewis.

The city of Columbus plans to allocate $ 500,000 for Cure Violence, however, Lewis says the money has not been distributed. The money will not be budgeted until the group receives additional approval from Columbus City Council.

Tuesday’s meeting will be held at 6:00 p.m. inside the Frank Chester Recreation Center on Benning Drive in Columbus. The meeting is open to the public.

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