Local churches band together to "adopt a block" in efforts to stop violence in Rochester

Updated: 06/21/2014 11:11 PM
Created: 06/21/2014 10:58 PM WHEC.com

Some residents are saying enough is enough. A community is calling for an end to all the violence after a teen was stabbed and killed on Friday night on Genesee Street.

This stabbing is just one example of the violence that’s plaguing many parts of the city. Now local leaders are taking a stand and combating the problem one block at a time.

“If we don’t take it back, nobody else is going to take it back,” said Reverend Lewis Stewart.

Reverend Stewart is taking back the city he loves. Joining forces with area churches, he’s calling on everyone to put a stop to the violence.

“They’ve got to say enough is enough. No more murders. No more drug dealing,” said Reverend Stewart.

The reverend is urging churches across Rochester to adopt a block. On Saturday, residents gathered on York Street in the city’s southwest side.

“We’re just adopting one block, but if every church and every organization has a chance to adopt a block we can make a difference. We will make a difference by going out and surveying, talking to the neighbors and seeing what changes can be made,” said Pastor Nina Wrosswar.

The movement to end violence comes not 24 hours after 17-year-old Travone Teasley was stabbed to death on Genesee Street. Police say it appears he was involved in a fight outside of a convenience store. Teasley dragged himself to Kirkland and Judson streets where he was found. He was transported to Strong Memorial Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

“I didn’t know what had happened, but I could see him lying over there,” said Rickie Sanders, a resident.

The area has a history of crime. A man was shot back in May on Genesee Street. In January, a 28-year-old was shot and killed in a parking lot.

“It’s just sad because it’s always somebody getting killed for no reason,” said Jamese Gray, a concerned resident.

Many are calling it senseless. They say the violence needs to stop.

“If we can resurrect the spirit of empowerment to give people hope and strength then we’re going to make a difference,” said Reverend Stewart.

Church leaders are having another Adopt a Block event on June 30 at the Inner Faith Gospel Tabernacle on York Street.

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