ONE Lexington director calling on churches, organizations to help people impacted by gun violence
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - The Lexington community has had a tough month. The city has recorded eleven homicides in May, making it the deadliest single month in the last 14 years.
In an exclusive interview with Mayor Linda Gorton, she says she is disappointed and sad to see this trend, calling it a nationwide issue. Police Chief Lawrence Weathers says the violence is disturbing and alarming. He assured people that these aren’t random shootings, and there are personal connections.
Regardless the killings are happening, and the ONE Lexington program is trying to expand its counseling services to help those grieving. Director Devine Carama is calling on houses of worship, mental health specialists and mentoring groups to help people who have been impacted by gun violence.
He said it’s as simple as having people walking through neighborhoods and being a safe and welcoming presence to those who live there. He also said there’s a need for on-the-spot counseling after an event like a homicide.
Carama said follow-up counseling is needed too.
ONE Lexington also teamed up with Black Soil and Food chain to deliver food baskets to underserved communities and places where there have been shootings.
Carama said with the community’s help taking on these initiatives they can focus on other ways to combat gun violence.
“We’re seeing domestic violence, we’re seeing mental health play a role in a lot of the homicides that we’re seeing, and not gang activity. “So, what role can a faith community play? I know a lot of churches have reached out to us,” Carama said. “What can we do? We feel we’ve developed a plan as to a program in which the faith community can be engaged in to help us out.”
Carama said, if Mayor Gorton’s proposed city budget is passed, he believes Lexington will see a lot of changes for the better within one year. We previously reported the mayor’s budget set aside $375,000 for ONE Lexington.
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