Youth Community Center to Challenge Youth Crime

It's happening on our streets and in our schools and now Mayor Otis Johnson is telling city leaders to take charge and put an end to the violence. Crime has hit every corner of Savannah.

Three men are trying to do just that. But they need some help. A certain building on East Gwinnett doesn't look like much now, but it will soon be a youth community outreach center, trying to stop the violence before it even begins.

Crime literally came to Deloris Davis' front door. A young man was shot and killed with Deloris as an eyewitness. "When I saw all that, it just took something out of me. My whole body went limp, and I said 'Lord, whose child is this?'"

Davis isn't alone. Violence is reaching into our schools and our community. The mayor's asking for people to wake up and step up and put an end to the crime.

Three men heard the cry and are one step ahead. It's called Reality Check Youth Community Center, and the men are giving kids a dose of reality while shaping their futures. "Whether it's a skill, trade, entertainment, it don't make a difference, said Raymont Becton.

He, Rico Brown, and Dennis Pickett, are combining their talents, using entertainment, business and social skills to reach kids, getting them off the streets.

"To provide various activities and events on social skills, anger management, because we got a lot of anger going on," said Brown.

And get kids on the right track. "Get someone in here who can talk about the business, lay foundation, we can start right here, right now and make you go somewhere," said Pickett.

Their biggest problem is funding, something they hope will become more available in the future. "We are challenging--just like the mayor challenged the community leaders--business owners and parents, whoever has resources for these kids to step to the forefront," said Becton.

It's a challenge these men hope more people will take.

The men don't plan to stop here. They already have another building ready for renovation off East 39th Street and Waters. They're hoping more people come forward.

Reported by: Melanie Ruberti, mruberti@wtoc.com