INDIANAPOLIS — Gun violence continues to impact the young in Indianapolis, but there are also those who are constantly working to help break that cycle of violence.
Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers spent another busy weekend responding to calls as at least 16 people were shot across the city between Friday night and Monday morning.
Renee Harris says she was hosting a graduation party around the same time IMPD says a 15-year-old was shot near 10th Street and Country Club Road on the city's west side. Police say the teen was found suffering from a gunshot wound in the middle of the street.
“I think it’s sad that the kids these days don’t have a safe place to go and hangout and have fun,” Harris told WRTV's Adam Schumes.
According to IMPD, that teen was the 38th youth to be impacted by gun violence in 2023.
Terrance Hood knows first-hand how gun violence can impact someone's life.
“I’ve been there," he said. "I’ve done 13 years in prison. I’ve been a juvenile, I've been to boy school, I've been to jail I've done it all."
Hood now runs a non-profit called Hood2Hood.
"It’s not about killing. You can’t handle a situation by pulling the trigger, you don’t know who you are affecting," Hood said.
His organization works on mentoring the youth on topics including financial literacy and cleaning up around the community. They even run yearly coat drives for kids.
“Communication skills need to be taught and when kids are approached, they don’t know how to handle it,” Hood said.
Without those communication skills, kids end up in violent situations that could have been avoided.
Which is why one of his main goals right now is to get those kids into his conflict resolution classes.
“When you hear from somebody like me or my constituents that’s going to be mentoring with me in Hood2Hood conflict resolution, we can show you what it looks like to be in trouble and also what it looks like it to change,” Hood said.
Hood says even saving just one life this summer would make all of his efforts worth it.
“What I want to get out of this is that maybe even if even change one or two people that’s cool, but I have to change someone,” Hood said.
Hood's first class is on Sunday, July 9. You can visit the Hood2Hood website for more information.