LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- More than 300 people have been shot in Louisville so far this year -- and 81 people have been murdered.

Now community leaders are trying to stop the increasing violence.

Of those 300 people shot, many of them are younger than 18, so there's a real push to keep kids in school -- engaged -- and off the streets.  

The sound of gunshots and sirens filled the streets of Louisville once again this weekend.

"They shot my son in the back," said Craig Bland on Dec. 10. "Why this happened is beyond me. I have no more kids -- no more children."

Craig Bland says someone shot and killed his 22-year-old son Toreze Bland Friday on S. 43rd Street, one day after his son's birthday.

A 30-year-old was shot and killed on Park Avenue, near S. 4th Street. The next day, two people were killed: one on Millers Lane, near Valley Station Road, and the other in an alley near Elliot Avenue and 44th Street, bringing Metro Louisville's murder total to 81 this year -- the highest in more than a decade.

Bland's death hit Christopher 2X, co-founder of Hood 2 Hood, particularly hard. He's known the family for decades. He's now helping lead the charge to stop the violence, working with young people, many of whom say they feel overlooked and isolated.

"We have what I would describe as a public health issue," Christopher 2X said. "Some individuals are in a fog and that's their reality -- and they feel that havoc and chaos are the rule of the day and they live by that."

In response city leaders announced today they're opening community centers during the holidays to give kids something to do during the long winter break.
Activities will include movies, holiday parties and basketball camps operated by former U of L player Robbie Valentine.

"We find the same issues involved," said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer. "Drugs, illegal guns, people that have dropped out of school not pursuing a proper education."

"I want to help young people stay safe and parents know that they're in a safe environment," said Robbie Valentine, a former U of L player.

At the time of this writing, Louisville Metro Police say there are still no arrests in any of this weekend's murders. Police are asking anyone with information to call 574-LMPD.

Copyright 2015 by WDRB News. All rights reserved.