INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.-- Parents Against Gangs is on a mission to revitalize their community and show kids and their parents a way out. The group teamed up with a local man who knows the life of being in a gang first hand.
"Our primary goal is to save our children. We've buried four children in this area in a 13 month period of time," said founder Michelle Grays.
Grays has her heart and eyes set on reaching at risk youth face to face. And now she wants to take those efforts even further by helping parents who feel they're children are unreachable.
"A lot of children are in trouble today because of parents not being empowered, not knowing how to help them, not knowing the signs to look for, not knowing what to do once they find out their child has crossed over into the wrong area other than sit in the courtroom with them," said Grays.
The group will soon operate out of a building on the far east side building at 42nd and Post Road. Local businessman Gurmeet Singh donated the space.
"We want a gang task force in this building. We want a mental health crisis center in this building," said Grays.
But for now they're hitting the streets with what she calls the groups secret weapon. Former gang member Shane Shepherd. He turned his life around after serving time in prison.
"My hope is to see a decrease in homicides of young black males and to see an increase in graduation. My hope is to see a decrease in hopelessness and an increase in dude that feel like they can become something," said Shepherd.
Shane's organization, B4U Fall has teamed up with parents against gangs to give kids a first hand account of what the street life leads to.
"It's not okay to be on the sidelines complaining about the young black males and they see other people stepping up to help them I think the support will come from all angles," Shepherd said.
This Sunday, the group will meet with city leaders to talk about teaming up with resources and funding. And next Saturday they'll host an impact summit on 42nd and Post to let the community know they are there to help. The impact summit will be August 20 from 1-3 p.m.