NEW HAVEN - In response to the rash of recent shootings in New Haven, community organizations are collaborating to affect change, including one that was started by a man whose son was shot to death in 2011.
Two weeks ago, a 17 year old boy was shot on Willow Street. Then, two days ago, it was a 9 year old boy shot in the pelvis, as he Road in his family’s car, near the intersection of Foote Street and Ashmun Street.
“Every time, the wound don’t close,” said Seam Reeves, whose son, Sean, was shot to death in 2011.
“He’s the reason why I do what I do. Him and every other small child in this community that needs a chance,” Reeves said.
He started an organization called S.P.O.R.T. Academy. Sport is an acronym for street poets cipher real truth and they start with a chess board.
“It’s the easiest way to to get a kid to think outside the box because they have boxed in mentalities at the moment,” he said.
His goal is to help them unlock the box.
“They will do the other work on their own. Right? But, they have to be empowered. They have to believe that they stand a chance,” he said.
One city youth we spoke with is a big part of an anti-violence group called Ice the Beef.
“he I really do this for my little brother, Reese, who passed away in 2017, who was murdered on Bassett Street,” said Journi Bell Lepere.
Tyrick “Reese” Keyes, was 14 years old. His mom has a simple way to curb gun violence.
“Instead of marching just one time, just constantly march,” said Demethra Telford, Keyes mother. “And that will stop the violence if it has to be every day or every time people can get together we must do that to make people hear us.”
Police confirm the nine-year-old boy, shot just before 7 PM Tuesday, had surgery last night and is expected to make a recovery.
Yesterday, following the shooting of the 9 year old, there was an emergency meeting between the Board of Ed, city departments and members of the community.
“We reached out to the family and spoke to the father yesterday,” said Jason Bartlett
Director of New Haven Youth Services. “We helped him with transportation and helping relocate the family.”
The well being of the boy, the primary concern.
“The young person's education and making sure that there is a safety plan for him and making sure that he gets all the mental health supports that he needs,” Bartlett added.
One element of yesterday’s emergency meeting: having the police department help identify the most at risk youth in the city.
“We have worked with street out reach so people are have been door knocking and actually reaching out to a number of these youths over the last 24 to 48 hours,” Bartlett said.
And, he says, the plan is to pull these at risk kids in in small groups “with probation and parole, the police department, other adults in the room and having real hard conversations with them.”
And Bartlett urges parents, who think their child might be carrying a gun, to please please reach out to youth services.
“We can work at the police to actually get those guns removed from those homes without actually having those youths arrested and start really intervening with those youth,” he said
For those interested in offering their ideas, as to how to better occupy the use of New Haven, Saturday, at 5 PM, there will be a rally held on the steps of the Stetson library branch on Dixwell Avenue.