INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - It's a frightening reality we see playing out in our city, more teens are becoming the victims of gun violence and the suspects in the crimes.
But, as we go into Halloween weekend a local church is stepping up to give them a safe place to have fun, learn from one another and see their live can go in a new direction.
"It's a chance for us as a church to show the love that we have for them and providing a safe space for them," said Pastor Kenneth Sullivan Jr. of New Direction Church.
Pastor Sullivan says this year is even more special after at least 19 teens have been killed in Indianapolis this year. He says he's taking a stand for the same community he grew up in.
"For those of us that are fortunate to make it out of our foolish years after we've made some poor choices and decisions and we've been redeemed to go back and share that hope and that message of hope for other young people as well so they can see someone who looks like them who was able to turn around and change," Sullivan said.
This year, We Live Indy will take part in the lock in. The group was founded by a group of students at Warren Central High School after losing classmates to gun violence.
"It's a great involvement. It has over 400 teens involved in the lock-in and I just really wanted to show the community that we're involved and that we're always linked together in the city to really come against youth violence activities," said founder Brandon Warren.
The group will host a panel discussion to get to the heart of what's affecting their peers and hopefully get more people involved in their anti-youth violence initiative.
"It's just been a rough year for us in general but I mean us together I feel like it's brought us closer as a teenage group but we're still looking for more leaders and more people to speak up on what's going on because it's affecting us and our future," Warren said.
The lock in kicks off Friday evening at New Direction Church at 7 p.m. and goes until 7 a.m. Saturday The teens will have a live DJ, a glow party, and a food and candy bar. To purchase tickets click here.