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Fighting crime by connecting youth to resources

Posted at 9:26 PM, Jul 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-16 21:28:41-04

INDIANAPOLIS — There's a new plan to help reduce crime and violence in Indianapolis and it's centered around connecting young people with the resources they may need.

It's part of a program called Resources in the Park.

"We want to make sure that all the resources go to the individuals who are deserving and in need of our services," Erik Davenport, with Resources in the Park, said.

That doesn't always happen so they're coming together, holding meetings in various parks across town. First connecting with each other and then actually walking through the park and talking with people in it.

"What we are trying to do is make sure everyone in the community is aware of those resources that are available to them whether they have internet or not," Davenport said.

"Every week I meet somebody that I have not met before and we are able to connect," Shardae Hoskins said.

Hoskins is on the city's violence reduction team. She said through this effort, she's been able to recruit new young people for the city's Safe Summer program.

"We will go over and talk to these people playing basketball and a lot of them will come play basketball with us and go, 'Oh, that's fun, prizes, food or whatever,'" Hoskins said. "So we're telling them about something they didn't know and we're getting more participation in our program."

So whether it's that program or one of the many others, leaders with Resources in the Park said these connections could change lives.

"A lot of people don't even know of the resources that are available so if you don't even know you have this need but we can say that we can provide it anyway," Hoskins said.

"We have to find avenues to get them involved in more positive things and show them there are other opportunities," Davenport said.

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