BUFFALO, NY (WIVB) After three teenagers were shot outside of North Buffalo Community Center in March, Mayor Byron Brown outlined a new initiative where police and community leaders together go to the homes of teens involved with gang activity. Sometimes the families know in advance, sometimes it;s a surprise visit.
“With the help of the Mayor and the Buffalo Police Department, that is crucial,” said Murray Holman, chairman of the Stop the Violence Coalition, who has gone along on fifty of those custom notifications since November. “The community part of it is for me to talk to that young man to tell him that I can get him out of this situation he’s in if he trusts in us. If he gets in contact with us, we can find him a job. “We also come to their mothers and their fathers and let them know if they have gun activity on Facebook or whatever, quelling the beast and letting them have passage through the community.”
A donated home on Kilhoffer Street, near East Ferry Street, is under construction to become the new headquarters for the Stop the Violence Coaltion. “This building will be rehabilitated from top to bottom and this will be our home so we can be proactive instead of reactive,” said Holman. “When a kid comes in here, it’s a safe haven place, it’s a resource place, it;s a place that they can eventually be in here working himself.”
The house was provided by Harmac Medical Products a couple blocks away. the company’s president and CEO, John Somers says he is excited to work with Stop the Violence and the Peacemakers to bring stability to the Bailey Green neighborhood. “We were able to donate this house and we’re excited that Westminster Church is donating $100,000 to renovate the hosue to bring more stability to the neighborhood.”
The Stop the Violance Coaltion is still seeking donations of furniture, computers, and the work do contractors or volunteers. Anyone wishing to donate to the project is asked to call (716) 578-7882.