CHICAGO (CBS) — One West Side pastor took his congregation outside to protest the violence on the streets of Chicago, reports WBBM’s Rob Hart.

The Greater St. John Bible Baptist Church at Waller and Potomac is in the middle of the Austin neighborhood on the West Side, which has seen 24 homicides so far this year.

Pastor Ira Acree calls it a state of emergency that can be fixed through greater economic opportunity.

“You know the saying ‘a rising tide lifts all boats’ and certainly those of us that are on the low end, we need the lift,” Acree said.

Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin was there, pushing a $50 million bill that would create jobs and help parents.

“We’ve got to have parenting and strong parents and grandparents raising these kids,” Boykin said.

Acree says his congregation was one of dozens that prayed outside today for an end to violence.