Lorain, Elyria, Lorain County Urban League plan to combat teen violence

Published: Sep. 17, 2023 at 11:09 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Teen and young adult violence has been on the rise in many places in Northeast Ohio.

To combat this, the cities of Lorain and Elyria partnered with the Lorain County Urban League and are creating a new program, named “S.O.S.”

The S.O.S. program, also known as the ‘Save our streets’ program, received $600,000 in grants along with $200,000 from the Nord Family Foundation.

“The war on drugs obviously hasn’t worked, and it has been going on since the 70s,” Mayor of Lorain, Jack Bradley, said. “Guess what? We still have a big drug problem, we still have a lot of overdoses, and it’s not getting better. So maybe a new approach to address violence and making our streets safer is a good goal to have… and a different approach is maybe warranted.”

Though the program is still in the works, they have confirmed that two mentors have signed up to help: Damien Calvert and Vincent Evans.

Mayor Bradley said he hopes these mentors can make a personal connection with the younger generations, as they have more personal life experience.

“S.O.S. is a call for help,” Bradley said. “So we’re hoping that young people know that we’re out there to serve them. Not to punish them, and not to use the same old models that haven’t worked in the past.”

If the program tracks a positive result, the city of Lorain hopes to continue it and ask for more funding in the future.