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Federal government getting involved in Philadelphia's growing youth violence problem

Federal government getting involved in Philadelphia's growing youth gun violence problem
Federal government getting involved in Philadelphia's growing youth gun violence problem 02:02

PHILADELPHIA (CBS)  -- The federal government is getting involved in Philadelphia's growing violence problem. This comes as local leaders search for solutions to the issue of youth violence.

City leaders say youth are increasingly becoming not only the victims of crime but also the culprits. A basketball camp that's happening this summer hopes to get to those kids before they go down the wrong path.

"At no point can you quit, you have to keep going even though things aren't going well," Philadelphia Councilmember Isaiah Thomas said.

Thomas compares the skills taught on the basketball court to those taught in life.

"It'll bring out the emotion of disappointment, the emotion of nervousness, anger, sadness, happiness when things go well," Thomas said.

This is the 10th year for the Thomas and Woods Foundation Basketball Camp.

The free camp is for kids from 5 to 16 years old, where they are taught basketball skills and critical thinking. The camp is held each August to help keep kids off the streets.

The councilmember says he is bridging the gap between when most camps end and when school begins.

"Our biggest goal is to put young people in a position where they can occupy their time in a positive way while simultaneously using sports for life lessons," Thomas said.

The camp comes as leaders are putting their heads together to try to control youth violence as police confirmed to Eyewitness News that the number of juvenile shooting victims has surpassed 120 for the year.

Dr. Ala Stanford of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services held a meeting with Mayor Jim Kenney, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw and District Attorney Larry Krasner.

"Our children need to have more hope, more collaboration of us working together and know that we're all working toward a better future," Stanford said.

Stanford said the goal is to have this meeting quarterly.

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