Neighborhoods from around 7th Ward fight back against crime

Unity For A Safer Community

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Neighbors and business owners around the Fairgrounds are trying to get in front of the spike in violent crime after a shooting victim recently crawled into a local restaurant for help.

“It will not be tolerated here, we will be visible. We will stand fast until we root it out,” Elray Holmes said.

Holmes brought together a crowd of neighbors Monday in the same spot where a man was shot, sitting at the table outside of his restaurant, Ray’s on the Avenue, Wednesday.

“Immediately I just went into the help mode,” Holmes said.Holmes, a veteran, brought the man inside and sprang into action.”

I followed the 911 operator’s directions and gave the man help.”

But Homes and his wife Tammy’s call to action did not end once the man was whisked off to the hospital.

Backed by other community stakeholders, they turned a once violent scene into one of kindness and caring In just 5 days. A tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his legacy.

”Now more than ever, we really need to embrace his mission, his ideology, his sense of how we can overcome the things that divide us and heal and not just heal, but improve everybody’s life,” Morgan Clevenger said.

Clevenger, President of the Fairgrounds-Triangle Neighborhood Association, quotes the late civil rights leader by saying “the time is always right to do the right thing.

”It can’t just be talk, we all have to come to the table and try to work on those solutions,” Clevenger said. “Our city government, our communities, our businesses, you know, to find those solutions.”

Something Mark Lawes, the co-owner of the nearby Half Shell on the Bayou, whole heartedly agrees with. He believes joblessness is a large part of the issue.

”We need to employ these people we need to educate these people and talking about it, and continuously talking about it ain’t doing nothing,” Lawes said. “We have to physically get out here and do the work.

”Those there today worked to feed the neighborhood while discussing the roots of the crime they see, even the deep systemic ones. The poor educational outcomes, and the poor health care outcomes that we’re experiencing that we’ve been experiencing for generations, so in many ways we shouldn’t be surprised,” State Rep. Royce Duplessis said.

Taking a firm stance against crime for this group means being for the community.

”If we don’t get a grip, then what does our future hold? Our kids, our family, our businesses?” attorney Derek Russ said.

Ray’s was able to serve 250 meals Monday, something that may become a reoccurring monthly event.

Organizers made it clear today that this isn’t the end. They will continue to work towards unifying the neighborhood and addressing the biggest issues.

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