GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — The city of Greensboro is rapidly approaching a record number of homicides and the city is tired of the violence.
The Office of Community Safety is just over a year old and is under the city umbrella and is working in collaboration with police, and it isn’t just working to reduce violence. They’re making sure the people already doing the work get paid to do it through a new program.
“We are not calling anybody out, but we are calling everybody in,” said LaTisha McNeil, manager of the Office of Community Safety for the City of Greensboro.
Everyone from city leaders like Greensboro Police Chief John Thompson to the friends and loved ones of homicide victims has asked the city to step up.
“It means so much to us to have this opportunity for these different nonprofits to step up,” McNeil said.
McNeil and Arthur Durham from the Office of Community Safety are leading the effort.
“Every day is a different shooting, a different homicide,” Durham said.
Durham is the violence prevention coordinator, and through a new request for proposals, he’s looking for ideas from the community to help change the headlines.
In the full room of people interested in making Greensboro safer, there was a man who knows the consequences of crime firsthand.
“I am a justice-impacted individual who spent ten years in federal prison. I spent one year in solitary confinement, and I transformed my life to be a powerful presence in the community now,” Lynch Hunt said.
Hunt is now a successful business owner who runs the nonprofit Able Outreach.
“We just want to be the people and organizations that we did not have when we were going through these struggles,” Hunt said.
Also on the frontlines is Rene Rowe, the co-executive director of Unifour One. Rowe works with the juvenile justice system and even offers parenting classes.
“A lot of the youth we work with directly, we’ve lost them to gang violence and gun violence in the city,” Rowe said.
She’s dedicated her life to helping as many young people as possible to stay on the right side of the law.
The request for proposal has several different tiers, so multiple organizations will get financial support to make a difference.
You can access the RFP on the city’s website. It runs through Oct. 31.