Group wants to focus on household issues to fight crime
BATON ROUGE - A community group in Baton Rouge thinks they have found the solution to end violence.
It's called "The Unity Project". It started as a research project in 2000, and after eight years of research and a trial run in in Baker, developers say it is ready to hit the streets here.
The project's director, James LeBlance, said he likes to refer to the new system as an invention. Its purpose is to integrate already existing non-violence programs with new programs to create a seamless support system for at-risk youth and their familes.
"The challenges exist in the household," said LeBlance, who said he wants programs to focus on both children and parents and not one or the other.
The group held a meeting Thursday to discuss the situation. It was at the Star of Bethlehem Baptist Church. Minister Chris Livous, the associate pastor, said he got involved with the movement because he believes it is a smart way to get the community working together to solve one of it's biggest problems.
"We want to bring together all of those nonviolent, stop the violence organizations together... bring them together under one umbrella," said Livous.
LeBlance hopes that together, the community of Baton Rouge can achieve the main goals of The Unity Project.
"To reduce or eliminate crime, substance abuse, truancy, and unemployment opportunities that are causing our youth population to fall victim to childhood fatalities or in other cases to end up incarcerated," LeBlance explained.
The Unity Project plans to visit 100 churches to build support.