Building Bridges To A Better Community Presents Action Plan

By Rachel Martin - 21Alive

October 29, 2013 Updated Oct 29, 2013 at 10:18 PM EST

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21Alive) – A plan was unveiled to stop the cycle of violence in Fort Wayne.

Community group Building Bridges to a Better Community (BBBC) says the main problem is that 61 percent of African American households in Fort Wayne are run by single mothers, according to the report. Meaning there's a lack of male role models and income.

BBBC’s solution is to create educational and employment opportunities through job training, financial planning, and increasing youth and community involvement.

Maps were posted on the council chamber walls displaying where most of the violence occurs and where most of the services are offered, which were on the opposite sides of town.

About half a dozen BBBC members presents, and at the end they gave Fort Wayne City Council a list of ten objectives of how they can play a part in this initiative. Some included economic development and beautification of the Southeast side, putting aside money for the initiative in the city budget, and assigning two members of council to be part of the BBBC.

"They're all very do-able, it's just a matter of how long will it take to implement. Some of those take dollars, but the ones that don't involve money--improved communications, better focus on strategies for economic development--a lot of that doesn't require additional dollars. So I think it's very do-able,” said Councilman Glynn Hines (D – 6th District).

"If we can be trusted with the community from the community to do the right thing by the community, then I think everything that we talked about tonight has a great chance to prosper,” said LaLeta McClure of Fort Wayne.

Fort Wayne Police Chief Rusty York also spoke at the meeting emphasizing better communication between the community and law enforcement. He stated he needs two things from the community: stronger lines of communication, and help in gun control and preventing easy access to them.




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