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Dallas Nonprofit Looks To Deter Criminal Activity Through Neighborhood Mixers

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Violent crime is on the rise in Dallas.

Dallas Police say 10% of reported incidents are occurring in just 14 of the city's 1,000-plus reporting areas.

Chief Eddie Garcia's violent crime reduction plan aims to address this.

It says DPD is well aware some apartment complexes located in historically low-income neighborhoods are hot spots for crime.

As part of the long-term violence reduction plan, they're now working with city leaders and stakeholders to identify these complexes and address conditions conducive to crime.

Meanwhile, an area nonprofit, Urban Specialist, is also working to make an impact.

More on that a bit later in the story.

Almost three weeks ago, there was a shooting at a southeast Dallas apartment complex off Jim Miller Road.

Dallas Police said two groups of people had gotten into a fight.

At least one gun was pulled and as a result, four women and a 4-year old child were shot.

They all survived.

No arrests have been made.

"I thank God all those people were okay," resident LaDonna New said.

LaDonna New lives in the complex — and says unfortunately, violence and crime are not uncommon occurrences.

"I kind of stay in my home so I don't really come out or let my son come outside," she said.

David Williams grew up nearby and said he's seen the effects this can have on a community.

"A lot of the folks who come from underserved communities and underprivileged neighborhoods, they have talents and skills and unfortunately, when something like that happens it can deter their whole path," he said. "So what we want to do is step in and intervene and give them a different option."

Urban Specialists, which works to eliminate violence in urban culture, has launched a new initiative.

"To be able to show love to the community and let them know that we care about stopping violence," Urban Specialist's Corey Cleghorn said.

"Peace, Prosperity and Possibilities" is bringing neighborhood mixers to apartment complexes that have recently experienced violent crime.

For the kids, there's bounce houses and snow cones.

Parents get a chance to mingle.

For teens and young adults, there's mentorship and job opportunities.

"We are servicing each other, we are building each other, we are holding each other accountable and we're filling in those gaps," Love Deposit's JoJo Nelson said.

"Sometimes it's hard to tell the community is with us you know when we don't really see them out doing things like this, but when we see things like this it brings us all closer together," New said. "It makes us want to show love."


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