ROANOKE. Va. (WFXR) — “Roanoke is resilient” was the message from Mayor Sherman Lea during his State of the City Address on Aug. 24.

On Thursday, the Berglund Center was full and all eyes were on Mayor Lea as he addressed many of the challenges across the Star City including education, gun violence, affordable housing, and the opioid epidemic.

“Over the years we have faced adversity and have overcome numerous challenges. And today is no different. We must continue to confront these harsh realities without forgetting they are still much more positivity and good happening in our community,” said Mayor Lea.

Mayor Lea said across the region there are many challenges, but to face them the community must stick together.

He added that in order to address gun violence, everyone needs to work together. Mayor Lea said city leaders are working to combat the violence and shootings and he is excited to see the progress.

“Even though the numbers weren’t that well in July. I’m encouraged because we’re getting ready to bring on a new police chief,” said Mayor Lea. “But we can’t back up we can’t just throw in the towel. We got to continue to work together.”

As the search for a new police chief continues, six finalists will participate in an open house, and residents are invited. The open house is scheduled for Aug. 28.