A recent shooting death on Winston Road in Columbus has the community ready to take action and create change.
New Bethel Tabernacle Church of God in Christ claims three buildings along Winston Road.
Church leaders say they are heartbroken at the crime making a name for the street they’ve invested so many resources into, and are now asking the community to join them in making a difference.
The church has been a part of the community for over 20 years, and Rena Hall says they’ve spent that time building a rapport with the people who live there.
She says the shootings have them heartbroken.
“We all take that personally- being that we know this community, we know the youth, we know the issues here, we know ways these types of things could be avoided- should we have the resources that we need to reach out,” says Hall.
Four ladies met with News Three. Margaret Starks works with the children in the church. She says they’ve built that trust on their own dime.
“We only have so many resources, because everything we do for the community comes out of our pockets, ” says Starks.
Now, they are saying enough and with their resources, are looking to do more.
“How many out there need help, and how many out there can we actually reach if everybody would come together and do something,” says Carolyn Evans.
They say if more people would come together and outside organizations come to work with them, they believe the team effort could influence change.
“You have to build a rapport, and I think that we are in a very good position right now, that if the city officials want to come in, if they want to come in, if the law enforcement wants to come together with some group to make a change, we are that group. There’s no one else,” says Hall.
A bigger plan includes hopefully absorbing some of the abandoned homes to expand outreach on the Columbus street.
“That would be another resource, and it would be a simple resource, because it’s right here in the neighborhood,” says Evans, “if everybody puts their mission together, we could save lives.”
The church has created the Coalition Civic Progress to work with nonprofits to bring change to the area.
They are also hosting a Vacation Bible School the week of July 30-August 4. They’ve invited the community to come August 4th at 12:00 p.m. est to interact with the community in a positive setting.