CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Three homicides in less than 24 hours. The latest victim was a 14-year-old boy. Community leaders are now called to action to find ways to stop the violence and uplift the neighborhood together.
“Our job is to build community,” says Deborah Woolard, founder of Block Love Charlotte. “To have open conversations to say, 'What can we do for you?'.”
A group of a few dozen gathered in north Charlotte Tuesday night to talk solutions that all involve “We" — ways to educate, empower and employ the community as an alternative to people turning to the drugs and violence instead.
Micheal Norman is the creator of the Global Vocational Training Center and he says the work starts by giving back within.
“Spend my money, my resources, my energy in my own community first,” Norman says.
Other organizations like Block Love Charlotte have more of a 'boots on the ground' approach working to feed and help neighbors in need.
“We want to be that hand that we once needed, but it’s also about spreading love throughout our community one block at a time,” Woolard says.
Neighbors WCNC Charlotte spoke to were clearly heartbroken by the shooting tragedies, one after the other. But some say they are optimistic a united effort can help address the violence issues and more.
“I am so hurt to see this and it’s been going on for a long time,” one neighbor said. “What we need to be doing is standing together and standing strong.”
The community leaders say they would like to make this gathering a weekly event each and every Tuesday night in hopes of getting more people involved.