Charlotte City Council expected to expand youth-advocate programs

Statistics show the city’s violence interruption program has already yielded positive results.
The Charlotte City Council is expected to expand its violence interruption programs on Monday evening.
Published: Jun. 26, 2023 at 5:47 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The Charlotte City Council is expected to expand its violence interruption program during its Monday evening meeting.

The program, Alternatives to Violence, started two years ago in the Beatties Ford corridor as a way to divert kids who might be headed down a path of violence, and redirect them to a more positive future.

City Council is expected to give youth-advocate programs additional money to continue in that area, but also enough to start a new program at West Boulevard and Remount Road.

Another group, Urban League of Central Carolinas will also likely get money to start another new site at Nations Ford and Arrowood Road.

The programs help develop skills to help teens and young adults during times of conflict, and target ages 14-25.

They also provide resources to assist with job training, higher education, and substance abuse treatment.

Through the programs, local organizations come together to promote nonviolence and change the community in a positive way.

“What we plan to do is build up and build out,” Leondra Garrett of Alternatives to Violence said. “We want to bring all communities together, not just here, but to bring West Boulevard, University Area, the south side of Charlotte...we are just using this community as a model to be able to say hey we can stop violence and we can cut down on the number of homicides in the community.”

Statistics show the program is working. Last month, the Urban Institute at UNC Charlotte found a significant reduction in homicides in the Beatties Ford area since the program started.

Related: ‘Violence interrupters’ looking to transform lives, change Beatties Ford area