A group of local faith leaders have a new plan to tackle gun violence in Columbus. It’s modeled after a similar plan in Indianapolis called Indy Ten Point. They say it has significantly reduced murders there.
Every Tuesday, ‘Street Souldiers’ from Shiloh Christian Center on the near East side canvass some of the toughest neighborhoods in Columbus. With the backing of Mayor Andrew Ginther, they’re now working to take their program city-wide.
“This is a real war,” said Pastor Johny Amos. “What we’re trying to do is de-escalate violence, deescalate revenge.”
Pastor Amos’ brother was shot and killed in Columbus in 1996.
“I remember how I felt when my brother was murdered here in our city. I felt like I wanted to get them. I wanted to find out who did it and I wanted to get them.”
Instead, he decided to help. He used his brother’s murder as motivation to meet people on the streets and spread a message of faith, hope and forgiveness.
“Tell that your best days are ahead of you. Just want to reach out and give them the sense somebody cares about them.”
Pastor Amos is recruiting other faith leaders to go out in their neighborhoods doing the same. The city-wide program is in the works with the backing of Mayor Ginther.
Right now the Street Souldiers are focused on the 43205 zip code and making a difference in the inner city.