The people living in New Haven’s Dixwell Avenue neighborhoods are tired of the violence.
“He was in his own backyard. He can’t go home and be in his own backyard without having gun put in his face? Enough is enough, say that with me, enough is enough,” said Pastor Scott Marks of the New Growth Outreach Ministries.
The message saying, “Enough is enough,” rang loud and clear as hundreds of residents gathered to find solutions to the recent spike in violence.
In the past four months, there have been 11 homicides, and residents are sick and tired of seeing the violence.
“I feel ashamed because it’s someone’s grandson, you know what I mean, it’s a whole bunch of nonsense,” said Lonnie Thomas of New Haven.
Residents also say they’re tired of talking about how to stop the violence, and it’s time to take action. The action starts at home.
“The bottom line for me is, there’s parental guidance missing in these kids lives,” said Connie Douglas of New Haven.
“If parents can basically work with their children at home, that will prevent a whole lot of problems outside the home,” said Gina Phillips of New Haven.
Their children agree.
“Children, basically today, they need a positive reinforcement, a positive inspiration, instead of a bunch of people arguing,” said Heaven Hopkins of New Haven.
Residents also say it’s time to take responsibility for what’s going on in their neighborhoods. They can’t just pass the buck to police and expect them to put an end to the violence.
“Until we, as black inner city community people, stand up and say, you know what, I’ve seen that murder, I’m going to say something, then it’s going to stop,” said Douglas Bethea of New Haven, who lost his son to city violence a few years ago.
Residents are taking the first step. More than 300 people have signed up for community groups aimed to take back their neighborhoods.