ROANOKE, Va (WFXR) — Roanoke’s RESET team and “Peacemakers” are raising awareness about resources including mental health aid and conflict resolution training. They took to the streets on Wednesday to talk to neighbors on Chapman Avenue after a man was shot in that area a few days ago.
Dreama Stone is one neighbor impacted by gun violence in the community. She says the night of the incident she heard gunshots followed by the sight of flashing blue lights from police vehicles.
“It’s just a gut-wrenching, heavy feeling in my chest,” said Stone.
She said seeing the organizations on her street this afternoon gave her a sense of hope.
“Several people, they came up and talked to me and explained who they were, and it just made me feel really good,” said Stone.
The Peacemakers organization began in 2016. Its goal is to reduce gun violence by bringing resources directly to the community. They go door to door asking people how they can help.
President of Peacemakers Shawn Hunter emphasizes the importance of bringing opportunity to people’s doorstep.
“You know, you have to bring this to them because most times they’re not going to come to you,” said Hunter.
Hunter says the Peacemakers help people access resources such as job opportunities, mental health aid as well as conflict resolution training. Adding that they will do what they can to keep communities safe.
“To try to reduce this violence, to try to mediate any kind of situations or violent situations that’s going on, our job is to be out here in these streets,” said Hunter.
The Peacemakers were joined by the Roanoke Police Department RESET team. RESET stands for Rapid Engagement of Support in the Event of Trauma. Both organizations agree that they are all there for one reason.
“We have one goal, all of us, to minimize and help reduce gun violence, that is what we are out here for,” said Hunter.
Hunter adds going into these neighborhoods is an opportunity to show that they care about the people impacted. If anyone is interested in joining the fight to eliminate gun violence, the peacemakers are always welcoming more members.