FORT WAYNE, Ind. (ABC21) – A group of men and women walk through neighborhoods in the southeast part of Fort Wayne in hopes to reduce crime.
A group of people formed Fort Wayne’s TenPoint Coalition last October. The group operates under the City of Fort Wayne.
Members of the TenPoint Coalition walk around the Oxford neighborhoods multiple times a week.
Coordinators said due to the large population of kids in the area, they want to focus their efforts to provide the youth with a positive support system.
Coordinators said the group prays for residents in the neighborhoods. They said they also report broken street lights, damaged sidewalks and abandon warehouses to city officials. Group leaders said their efforts are focused on improving the neighborhoods.
The group receives private money and money from the state’s Attorney General’s office. Coordinators said each member of the group receives $10 an hour per walk.
Coordinators said engaging with residents helps them understand important issues that impact folks. They said they can bridge those concerns to city officials, making sure people in their neighborhoods get help.
“It’s like every other day there’s a stabbing or a shooting. Something that happens in the community and it’s just like why?” Afrika Allison, a TenPoint Coalition street team member said. “Why does that need to happen?”
Coordinators said the face-to-face interaction also helps build trust and positive relationships.
For the past six months, group leaders said they have walked the streets more than 150 times.
“It’s just an honor to see somebody and give them a chance and believe they can make it,” Lyle Kelsaw, TenPoint team leader said. “To give somebody self-worth and let them know they are worth something and not worthless.”
Coordinators said in order for their team to be effective and for safety purposes, they can’t disclose their routes and scheduled walks.
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