New database designed to enlist faith community in Louisville's - WDRB 41 Louisville News

New database designed to enlist faith community in Louisville's anti-violence effort

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Mayor Greg Fischer's office is using technology to build a network of churches and faith leaders ready to respond to the rising violence in Louisville.

Crime tape, blue lights and grieving families have become too common in Louisville's neighborhoods. The city is on pace for another record year for murder. But Fischer is seeking more help from above.

“I encourage all of our faith leaders to take their word, take their mission out into the streets to help people,” Fischer said as he unveiled his latest crime-fighting tool Tuesday, an online directory designed to connect Louisville's houses of worship to Metro Government and to each other.

“We don't need solo voices out crying in the wilderness," he said. "We need a choir to help pull this together."

The database is believed to be the first of its kind in the nation. It contains information about Louisville's places of worship and the services they offer: from meeting space to mentoring to after-school programs.

“If something happens, a homicide takes place, and they need services in that community, we immediately can be able to go to a database and identify those houses of worship and those faith leaders in those areas to begin to provide services for those families, for the community,” said Rev. Vincent James, the faith liaison for the Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods.

The goal is to try and prevent the next homicide. Right now, there are more than 900 entries in the database.

“We know that churches, faith leaders, other houses of faith, mosques, temples, etc, are really positioned well for some of that societal, community-level change that has to happen,” said Rashaad Abdur-Rahman, director of the Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods.

Long-time pastor Geoffrey Ellis said the database goes a step beyond Gov. Matt Bevin's effort in June to enlist churches to fight violence through neighborhood prayer walks.

“By being able to go to that church, see what they're doing, see what they got to offer and then offer that to the people in the neighborhood who may not know, who may not be parishioners," Ellis said. "So I think it's a great way to go."

Churches and other houses of worship may sign up for the database. To sign up, click here.

Related Stories:

Gov. Bevin unveils prayer initiative to combat violence in Louisville

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