ST. LOUIS - Ronnie Robinson has the names of his 2 sons tattooed on his arms because they have both been murdered.
“I keep fighting because it’s not just about my sons, said Robinson. “It’s about all these kids.”
Robinson believes recent shootings that have taken the lives of multiple children should be a wake-up call for citizens to get involved. He said, “Wait until you lose a child, a sister, a brother, a cousin. It’s a deep wound.”
One organization working to stop violence before it’s too late is Better Family Life. The agency is in the process of expanding its outreach program and is recruiting former military and those with a criminal past to help. Anyone interested in a position should call 314-381-8200.
“So far this year we have successfully de-escalated over 50 conflicts,” said Better Family Life’s James Clark. “Those were conflicts that had a real trajectory towards gun violence.”
Clark says there’s no quick fix and believes underserved communities need a host of social services. He says it takes a host of individuals to get involved. “Families have got to begin to take an inventory of the people in their home first. Then we need neighbors to begin to engage neighbors and we are also working closely with neighborhood churches,” said Clark.
Clark said by going into underserved neighborhoods outreach workers can help identify individuals in need of drug treatment programs or identify conflicts before they turn deadly. He predicts the actions taken now will help determine the future of St. Louis.