PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A group dedicated to empowering parents of Philadelphia school students is redoubling efforts to help families impacted by the city’s surge in crime. CBS3’s Natasha Brown shows us how leaders are reaching out.
The rising wave of gun violence involving youth in Philadelphia has police, city and community organizations scrambling to find ways to stop it.READ MORE: Tolls Increasing Sunday On 8 Delaware River Crossings Connecting Pennsylvania, New Jersey
“As a parent, I would say it’s absolutely devastating, ” said Cierra Freeman.
Freeman is the vice president of the Philadelphia Home and School Council, representing public school parents throughout the city. The group partners with schools to provide resources for families impacted by gun violence.
“Our mission for Philadelphia Home and School Council is really just to stand publically with schools, with the families and staff that’s being affected by school community hardships. That is our mission for these unfortunate events,” Freeman said.
Lakeisha James is a school counselor and member of the group.READ MORE: Man Dies After Being Shot Four Times In West Oak Lane, Philadelphia Police Say
“We do go into the schools,” she said. “Moving forward some of the things we’re going to roll out will be along those lines.”
The Home and School Council reflect on a recent trip to a city school that had just lost one of its students. It’s a scene becoming all too familiar.
“We connected to the principal, we connected to the mom, the parent there in that situation, and we definitely showed up in that community,” Freeman said. “We did a kind of event outside of the school where we gave away food and PPE, along with books and just tried to connect to the community that way.”
Recent fatal shootings at recreation centers, on city streets, and the tragic shooting of an 11-year-old who was riding a dirtbike, has the group reaching out to more and more organizations, more communities desperate for healing and hope for an end to the violence.MORE NEWS: Fall Full-Capacity Concerts, Xfinity Live! Preparing To Reopen Has Philadelphia's Stadium District Buzzing With Energy
“Connecting with the organizations again where we play, not have all the resources but branching out and connecting with the other organizations and our city officials to come up with a more holistic plan for safety for our children,” Tonayia Cofer said.