St. Petersburg churches hold community block party against gun violence

Pinellas County

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – As gun violence continues in Tampa Bay, the City of St. Petersburg along with three local churches are joining in the fight to stop it.

On Saturday afternoon, they held a block party to promote peace at Abundant Life Ministries Church.

Their goal was to reach the younger generation in their neighborhood.

“We’re here to listen and see what you need to help you stop and put down the gun and to solve the problem in a different way,” said Celena Dixon of Destiny Christian Outreach Ministry.

These churches want to be a positive outlet for this South St. Pete community and show the younger people living in this neighborhood they have options and opportunities.

“Let them know there’s a better way than what they’re choosing. There are many activities that they can choose from on the deuces. Being on the street is not a safe place for them,” said Kenyatta Rucker, a local business owner.

Unfortunately, St. Petersburg, specifically the southern part of the city, has seen its fair share of violence.

“You have people right now doing drive-bys, things like that. People scared to go outside of their own homes. Outside of their own businesses,” said Rucker.

There have been 15 homicides so far in St. Pete. Last year there was only 15 in total.

These churches are hoping they can help end the senseless violence as they continue to reach out to the community.

“We want to reach the ones that are outside to let them know there’s still hope. God still loves them and let them know to put the guns down,” said Pastor Lisa Warren of Destiny Christian Outreach Ministry.

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