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Local organization works to prevent teen violence on Cleveland streets

Peacemakers Alliance employs outreach workers, including some former gang members.

CLEVELAND, Ohio — As school lets out and the weather gets warmer, we tend to see more crime, some of it involving teenagers.

“It gets crazy in the summer it really does,” explains Cleveland Peacemakers Alliance, Outreach Worker, Myron R. Phillips. “We’re trying to figure out a way to stop it.”

The organization works to stop the violence and keep young people out of gangs. Phillips says he too was once an at-risk youth.

“I was really like a poster child, I ran the streets, I got in trouble, I committed senseless crimes, I tore down the neighborhood,” he says.  

“So I got a second chance and now I’m here, I’m trying to help, I want to help fix the things that I broke,”said Phillips. 

The alliance helps with a variety of things, from getting teens bus passes to helping them learn the skills to get a job.

“A lot of the kids really can’t travel from A to B, they don’t have the means to get to certain places, to get out of their neighborhoods, to get out of those bad environments,” explains Phillips.

It’s about building trust and giving these young people a better sense of self and belonging.

“I left the village. I found a better way and now I’m back and I’m trying to lead everybody to what I found.”