MEMPHIS, Tenn.-- With record homicide numbers this year, many involving teens, The Memphis Shelby Crime Commission is issuing a call to action.
They’re asking the public sector, businesses and citizens to help young people in our community, like the Heal the Hood Foundation has. Heal the Hood has used performing arts to give youth a positive outlet instead of a life of crime.
17-year-old Kirby High School student Tracy Almo knows the difficulties of being a teenager.
”I used to be around all the negative people until I came here,” he said on Tuesday.
Here, is a music studio at the Heal the Hood in Hickory Hill, where he raps.
“I can relate to other teens, and I know ya’ll doin whatcha doin out there ya’ll don’t have to do that anymore because this is the place to be,” explained Almo.
With Heal the Hood, he’s exposed to positive role models and given an outlet to express himself through his music, something the Memphis Shelby Crime Commission commended on Tuesday.
“We’re very concerned about the number of homicides in our community in particular but also the number of other violent crimes such as aggravated assaults, rapes,” explained Bill Gibbons, President of the Crime Commission.
Some those crimes involve youth in some way, whether they’re the victim or suspect. Which is why the crime commission announced their partnership with Heal the Hood.
“They can learn how to work with computers, how to play the guitar,” explained Harold Collins, Vice President of Community Engagement with the Crime Commission.
The commission urged other privates businesses to follow in Heal the Hood’s footsteps and help youth not only in Hickory Hill but other places like here in Raleigh, Frayser and Whitehaven.
“Help move our young people in the right direction and provide that safe place for them to be during non-school hours,” said Gibbons.
Almo believes these partnerships could make a difference in a young person’s life.
“I’ve seen people do like wrong things. I really want a lot of people to change. I’ve changed myself,” he said.
To learn more about Heal the Hood Foundation visit: http://hthmemphis.org/ceo.html