Volunteers work tirelessly to stop Chicago violence
By Tisha Lewis, FOX 32 News Reporter - bio | email
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -
Three people were killed by gunfire over the weekend, 27 others were wounded. Volunteers continue to try and stop the violence.
“The sense of safety and our presence has made significant impact,” said Carlos Estes.
Estes says the 200 blocks targeted by Brothers on the Block have not experienced any violence since the group started walking those blocks last month.
Estes credits the face-to-face interaction with young people in the city’s most violence neighborhoods.
“That often times do not have mentorship and people to talk to them to steer them in the right direction,” said Estes.
Last weekend more than 80 people were shot across Chicago, 14 died.
There was less violence this weekend but still what Governor Pat Quinn called, “a time of a violence epidemic,” said Quinn on Sunday morning as he stood before families of who have lost loved ones to gun violence.
Quinn demanded stronger gun laws.
“It's called the Illinois Public Safety Act, it's designed to ban assault weapons in our state, put a limit on high capacity magazines and enhance background checks for those who want guns,” said Quinn.
“I got shot in the head just one block from here, right there on 64th and Eberhart, when I was a teenager,” said Patricia Horton.
Horton says the violence has only escalated since then and the solution to the city’s violence goes beyond gun legislation.
“First of all there's a lack of jobs,” said Horton.
Horton is one of more than 2,000 women who form Sisters on the Street; they too walk the neighborhoods each weekend. They say it is a start to curb the city’s violence.
“The locations where we're doing the patrolling there hasn't been any violence and I would say it's because of our presence,” said Linda Austin.
Brothers on the Block and Sisters on the Street is spearheaded by New Beginnings Church Pastor Corey Brooks and started one month ago on June 13th. The volunteers target neighborhoods city wide including Woodlawn, Englewood and Auburn Gresham. The men walk on Friday nights and the women walk on Saturday nights.
Brooks says police officers in the neighborhoods have provided assistance. There was no comment from the Chicago Police Department.