Community members discuss ways to protect youth from violence

Published: Mar. 28, 2023 at 11:37 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - First Unitarian Church of Toledo hosted a community roundtable with the Coalition of Peaceful Toledo Neighborhoods to discuss solutions to the violence in Toledo and ways to protect youth in the city.

“Something needs to be done, and it needs to be done promptly,” says former mayor Donna Owens.

Owens says there are a lot of resources available that are not being taken advantage of.

“There are grants available. There are grants available for cameras and block watches, but nobody has applied for them, which is an issue,” says Mayor Owens.

Last year there were 64 homicides in the City of Toledo, many of those involving people under the age of 18.

Former Mayor Mike Bell says some programs can help, but many people don’t know they exist.

“We just need to be able to connect the dots. There are a lot of people who have resources, but as was stated in the meeting, a lot of people don’t know where the services are. Everybody is working independently, and then we need to find a way to work together,” says Bell.

Life-long Toledo resident Taylor Ross’ Parker says there were always things to get involved in when she was a child, but now things have changed.

Parker thinks kids getting involved in more extracurricular activities would help the violence problem.

“Resources like vacation, Bible school, or having summer game nights at local community centers or churches play a big role. Having something for the young people to do will help decrease in some way, shape or form, a small percentage, or major percentage, of gun violence,” says Ross’ Parker.

To learn more information and stay up to date on the Coalition for Peaceful Toledo Neighborhoods, click here.

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