Youth program aims to help young men, prevent violence

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind-  The age of the suspects arrested for the quadruple homicide has not gone unnoticed for those who work with youth in the community. They say there’s more we can do now to prevent these tragedies from happening.

“It’s sad quite frankly,” said Kia Wright, the founder and director of “VOICES.” “It’s heartbreaking our kids are seeing death every single day, and that’s why we have to come together, organizations and communities, to be able to try to solve this as a unit.”

At Voices, Wright wants to give young men another world view, away from the violence. The kids in this court-ordered day program are middle school and high school males, nearly the same age as the four young men now behind bars, facing murder charges.

“My reaction (to the arrests) first was of relief for the families, but then the other one that kicked in was man… that’s four more people whose lives are impacted by this senseless act of violence,” said Shonna Majors, the city’s Director of Community Violence Reduction.

The goal is to prevent more young men from going down that same path. At VOICES, youth have workshops, therapy, even a space to record music, but the most important part is the people behind it.

“They need adults that are going to show up and are going to be there and give them that hard truth,” Wright said. “They need to be loved and affirmed.”

Love, they say, is the most important piece of the puzzle. So far about 90% of those in the program stay out of the legal system. The love they feel. seems to be working.

“Yeah, because it’s genuine,” said 16-year-old Devon Bunton, who attends Voices. “It’s real genuine.”

Transforming young lives, with the goal of transforming the city. Those behind the programs hope more help is on the way.

“If we continue this, in a couple years we will see a huge difference in our community,” Majors said.

If you are interested in volunteering or donating to Voices, follow this link http://voicescorp.org/

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