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We Our Us looks to increase outreach in quest to stop violence in Baltimore

Posted at 7:22 PM, Jan 31, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-31 19:28:10-05

BALTIMORE — When it comes to combating violence in Baltimore some community organizations believe becoming more proactive before something happens could help change the violence.

Members from the nonprofit “ We Our Us” like Corey Barnes, who’s the director of operations, are encouraging everyone to join them in being part of the solution.

“When we go out into the community we have four parts of our mission statement to protect, to connect, to message, and mediate,” Barnes said.

Barnes said bringing resources to communities every week is how they are being proactive when it comes to combating crime.

“We go first in the community engaging in building relationships in the community, that’s our first line of protection. So it becomes real important that we all get out and get in this proactive mode vs this reactive mode,” Barnes said.

The group “We Our Us” shows up every Monday and Saturday in communities throughout Baltimore City to engage with people. Barnes said after they connect they start to spread their message, while trying to protect and mediate violent situations.

“Letting people know they are loved, we go in the community letting people know they have hope, and we go in the community letting people know there are individuals here to help you. Mediation is one of the most important parts of what we do we have what we call our stop the beef hotline," Barnes said.

"A lot of the problems and the beef that they have in the community many times we get a call on this hotline to mediate those beefs. One of the things we are proud of is that we have 100% no retaliation out of the beefs that we have stopped,” Barnes said.

Monday the “We Our Us” group showed up in the Forest Park community after an extremely violent weekend in Baltimore city. On Saturday alone 7 people were shot and two young children injured as a result of a shooting.

Barens said what makes this work more difficult is seeing more young people becoming involved in violence.

“Everything is getting younger, the addiction over there is younger, the murderer is younger. I’m seeing young kids nodding like that wasn’t the case 30 years ago,” Barnes said.

And he believes the only way to seek true change is to meet people where they are while being more proactive when it comes to combating violence in Baltimore City.

“If 80% of the murders are black men killing black men we believe that in order to get the guns off the corner and get the guns out of the hands of black boys is that we have to go and get the guns, we have to go where they are,” Barnes said.

“We Our Us” provides life coaching and job training. Also, people who need mediation but don’t want the police involved can call or text the stop the beef hotline at 443-431-3705 or 443-522-7848 for help.

Leaders from the “We Our Us” group said they will continue working to change violence in the community and they believe it going to take help from every adult in the city to curve this violent culture.