SCLC summer program provides safe haven for Memphis teens

For many people fighting in the war on crime Monday is something like "D" Day. And in this fight the soldiers are you and others in the community.

This first day of this SCLC summer program looks like a lot of fun, but it's actually much more than that.

"Well, you have a group of young people who are off the streets - engaged in a safe haven positive recreational activity," said Rev. Dwight Montgomery of SCLC.

Throughout the summer, youngsters will be able to play here, get school tutoring and mentoring from high school students.

Teen mentor Andre Winrow said, "maybe they can just stay out of trouble get involved with something that's constructive and just leave all the bad behind."

"And also make sure that they have someone to look up to instead of turning to gangs and other people that are not good for them," said Taninashia who's also a teen mentor.

This is all part of an SCLC community-wide commitment to decrease crime and violence by increasing hope.

"I hope that it will help young people stay off the street and stay out of trouble," added mentor Bryttany Gladney.

Beginning with Monday night, "Rally For Survival" church congregations from around Memphis will hit the streets, cleaning up graffiti, and other eyesores in a plan to increase the peace.

Reverend Eric Winston's church is in the Riverview Park neighborhood where a gunman went on a shooting spree last month.

"We're not only starting with the children. We want to start with parents, fathers, uncles, cousins and so many other people so we can reach everyone and dispell this problem," said Rev. Winston.

He and more than 100 other ministers will be meeting with the SCLC this week to develop strategies that make Memphis more safe.


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