Organizers raising awareness about 'Zones of Hope' mission in Louisville
The program aims to connect people with jobs and education opportunities to keep them out of trouble.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Nearly 70 people have been murdered this year in Louisville. As the violence spikes, there's an effort to create "Zones of Hope" in some of the city's most dangerous neighborhoods.
Treyvon Neely hits the streets and goes door-to-door as a community organizer with the project.
He's trying to reach people who have faced similar struggles from his past.
"I just got into selling drugs trying to make some money on top of working," Neely said.
Now he's connecting others with resources like the ones he used to help turn his life around.
"Once the organizers bring these individuals in, we're able to connect them to employment or education opportunities," said Lawrence Wilbon, the project director of Zones of Hope.
The Louisville Urban League runs the program. Wilbon says organizers are focusing on African-American males between 16 and 27 years old.
"This was the group that could use a little extra help to ensure that we reduce the crime in these particular neighborhoods," he said.
They're also targeting five neighborhoods: California, Shawnee, Russell, Parkland and Newburg.
Those areas are where officers are often called for shootings. Earlier this week, three people were gunned down at a birthday party near 26th and Kentucky in the Parkland neighborhood, and two died.
"We need more people doing this work," Neely said.
The program has been underway for about two years, but organizers want to expose what they're doing and get others to pitch in.
"We need individuals who have the power to employ individuals," Wilbon said. "Those who have the key to get someone connected to education opportunities."
An awareness event was held Thursday night at the California Community Center. Wilbon says they will hold similar events in the other four neighborhoods covered by Zones of Hope.
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