MIAMI (WSVN) - A local anti-crime group walked through the streets of Miami to help provide a community with resources after four people were shot over the weekend.
With more than 100 walks in the books and eight years of service, Walking One Stop is working to ensure that victims of crime in South Florida receive the proper resources to help them through their time of need.
Organizer Wayne Rawlins described the movement as a community collaborative that brings federal, state and local resources to the doorsteps of traumatized crime survivors.
“We go to neighborhoods where there has been recent incidents of gun and gang violence,” said Rawlins.
Monday morning, the group went to the Liberty Square neighborhood after a weekend shooting sent four people, between the ages of 13 and 20, to the hospital.
“We don’t have the advocacy support that people like in Parkland have,” Rawlins said. “The lives of these juveniles are just as important as the lives of the children in Parkland — not to diminish that or that effort, and we support the effort that is going on there — but these lives are equally important.”
City of Miami Police Officers were on hand during Monday’s walk.
“We don’t want kids to feel as though they can’t come outside their homes,” said Miami Police Cmdr. Keandra Simmons. “We don’t want the community to feel as though they can’t sit outside without being struck by gun violence, so we wanted to bring these necessary resources here.”
Some of the resources Walking One Stop offers include career, health and legal resources. Rawlins and Simmons said the reaction they get and the numbers they see prove how important these walks are.
“This does bridge the gap because they see us out here with the other agencies, and they see that not only do we come around when it comes down to tragic situations or crisis mode, [but] that we’re here to actually help them on a daily basis without coming to take anyone to jail,” Simmons said.
“Typically, what we find is that crime will go down in the area where Walking One Stop comes for about six weeks,” said Rawlins. “A lot of the issues that happen in terms of violence are related to economics, so if we can help to improve the economic condition and the social condition of the people, it’ll help to raise them up and better their lives.”
Walking One Stop organizers show up where they are needed. In the past, they’ve hosted two of these events within three days. The next one is set for March 19 in Coconut Grove.
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