Uniting and Healing through Hope continues campaign to stop community violence

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – It’s an aggressive campaign Uniting and Healing Through Hope of Monroe County says it will never back away from. Saturday, the anti-violence group hosted a “Stop The Violence Community Conversation.”

News10NBC heard from the group, and some of their crime fighting partners as it continues to make a real impact on violence in our communities.     

Founder and President Clay Harris says he’s challenging our community members to get involved in this fight, instead of sitting on the sidelines.

“We’re going to continue to do these because we want to save as many lives as possible to stop this violence,” said Harris.

Attendance at Saturday’s “Stop The Violence Community Conversation” at Ark of The Covenant Church on Lorimer Street may have been light because of the weather, but the message was heavy on finding more ways to stop the violence on our streets.

“We’re trying to have these community conversations to provide more people to become involved, and to get engaged, because it truly does take a village to raise a family,” said Harris.

The Rochester area has seen a major uptick in car thefts, smash and grabs from local businesses, on top of almost daily violent gun crimes. Speaker after speaker took turns offering solutions to squash the problem. One saying it starts with educating the very young at home.

“That’s the nucleus. That’s the foundation of everything our children receive. If the home does not value certain things, you cannot teach your child to value education. If the home does not honor, or respect life, you cannot teach your child.”

The group says it’s not only the child, but parents as well.

“We have to recognize that our parents are the pivotal voice in the lives of our children. We need to make sure we respect, honor our parents, and give them the empowerment to pour into their children the way they need to,” said the same speaker.

Monroe County Sheriff Todd Baxter says people are dying, and kids are being maimed by the hundreds.

“There has to be enforcement. There has to be laws. There has to be a society of order, and we have to respect that, and we have to teach young people to respect it. We have to teach older people to respect that,” said Baxter.

Harris says we all need to get back to the basics to stop the violence.

“When you have a strong church and a strong family, and a strong family and a strong church, you have a strong community. You have a strong nation, and that’s what we have to get back to,” said Harris.

Uniting and Healing Through Hope of Monroe County wants you to be a part of this conversation. More information and the list of scheduled upcoming Stop The Violence events here.