Advance peace program hopes to save lives with expanded gun violence prevention in Lansing
LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - The Gun violence prevention program Advance Peace started last year with a goal to lower gun-related fatalities by 40 percent over the next three years.
Just one year later the number of gun-related deaths has dropped from 23 to 13 from 2021 to 2022, although the number of shootings has risen by 7.5 percent citywide.
Lansing Mayor Andy Schor said the program relies heavily on community outreach to prevent retaliation gun violence works.
Schor said, “We went three months without a homicide, which was incredible. then when awful happened and we did have a homicide, the advanced peace team jumped into action. they got in and made sure there was no retaliation, they talked to all the parties, they did exactly what they had been doing and what we knew they could do.”
The outreach team took 15 individuals into their fellowship program where they had daily interactions and attended behavioral therapy, life coaching, job readiness sessions, and internships.
The expansion of the program looks to bring 60 people into their fellowship early next year.
last years focus was on the Southwest part of Lansing and with additional staff Advance Peace looks to involve southeast Lansing as well as some local high schools.
Aaron Blankenburg who is part of the outreach program said changing one kid’s trajectory could save more than just his life.
“You see that little light bulb go off and they are starting to get it. the conversation changed, and they started to carry themselves differently. we have one little dude who comes to mentoring class and he leads prayer now. it is just like wow.... this really where you are at now hu”, said Blankenburg.
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