CHICAGO (CBS) — The numbers are particularly striking: 52 shot. It is the most violent weekend so far this year. At least eight of those victims are dead.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she was disturbed by the news of the multiple shootings and homicides from over the weekend.
“I’m upset as a human being we’ve had so many people shot and so many homicides. I want to make sure out city is safe,” Lightfoot said.
The weekend shootings happened across Chicago, including four people in West Garfield Park. But one neighborhood isn’t taking crime lightly.
Only on CBS 2, Suzanne Le Mignot has the story from the 11th Police District with the personal approach community leaders are taking to fight crime. The approach is one of compassion; helping those in need get on the right path for a better life.
West Garfield Park. The 400 block of North Pulaski. The crime scene tape remains after a man was shot at a nearby intersection in a drive by shooting Saturday morning.
“We’ve always had a level of violence, but it really appears that it has spiked,” said Pastor Michael Eaddy of People’s Church of the Harvest.
Eaddy has spent 40 years in the West Garfield Park and East Garfield Park communities. On Monday, he attended a meeting with other area pastors, where violence on the West Side, was among the topics.
“We’re going to be out every week,” Eaddy said.
The People’s Church of the Harvest pastor said he has partnered with the 11th District to do outreach at known hot spots.
“We interact directly with the young men and women, right where they are, on the corners, right where they do their business,” Eaddy said. “We try to talk with them, encourage them. We certainly let them know where they can come if they need help.”
Eaddy said the key to changing violence is creating job opportunities for ex-offenders.
“When they come back, they don’t have any resources,” noted Eaddy. “If there isn’t something in place to embrace them, then they’re going to do what they know best to do.”
Bo Deal is an outreach worker with Institute for Nonviolence Chicago.
“We get them jobs, try to get them home placement,” Deal said. “Things they may need to get IDs and get them ready for life.”
Deal speaks from experience.
“I’ve been to jail for robbery, unlawful use of a firearm, getting caught with a smoking gun. I went down for criminal drug conspiracy,” Deal said. “We build relationships with the guys out there and we help them and they know we care. I give them hope. I feel it’s my job and obligation to give back to the same streets we helped tear down.”
A Chicago police spokesperson said working side-by-side with the community is a team effort to create change.