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Ree-Ree’s place opens in Kokomo, provides support to men affected by gun violence

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Posted at 10:38 PM, Nov 26, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-27 12:35:52-05

KOKOMO — A non-profit dedicated to men affected by gun violence is now open in Kokomo.

Derico Young has been working on Ree-Ree's place for the better part of this year. It will offer counseling, support groups and mental health support to men in need.

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Right now, the building still needs work, but Young wants to at least have the doors opened.

"Whether it’s ready or not, it just needs to be open because the need for Ree-Ree’s place has been past needed," Young said.

Ree-Ree's Place will offer men a safe space.

"The only words you ever hear is you gotta stay strong — you gotta be strong, stay strong, stay strong — well Ree-Ree’s place is a place where you don’t have to come to be strong," Young said. "You need a place to talk and as you talk you’re gonna cry, tears are gonna come down and it’s okay. You don’t have to be strong."

The nonprofit is named after Young's daughter, Derisha Young, who was shot and killed on the southeast side of Indianapolis in 2021.

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On Nov. 16, 2023, her sister, 14-year-old Kaleiah Dean, was killed on the east side. A program for women and youth will be in her honor.

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"This is never gonna go away. The pain, they say, is supposed to get easier. I haven’t figured that out yet," Young said.

Young says the idea for the space includes playing games, watching TV and just hanging out.

"Games will start a conversation. You don’t have to come and talk, you talk when you’re ready to talk. I don’t want anybody to feel like 'I’m not going there because I have to talk,' no you can come hang out," Young said.

"There’s not a place here in Kokomo to handle the trauma aspect of it," Loretta Davis said.

Davis has been helping Young since the beginning.

"Ree-Ree was my bonus daughter and it's a great cause. I’ve seen the issue they had with finding help for men and even teens. We were having issues finding counseling for our son," Davis said.

Young says he's in need of donations and help getting the building up and running.

To donate or for more information on Ree-Ree's Place, visit their website or Facebook page.