(03/14/13) - Violence isn't the answer - that's the message community leaders
are trying to get across in Saginaw.
They held a prayer vigil Thursday afternoon at the Neighborhood House. That's near where a man was murdered just last week.
Twenty-seven-year-old Javon Kimball was shot and killed in a parking lot on the city's south side last Monday. Balloons and teddy bears are there as a reminder of the violence that's taking people's lives.
"He didn't deserve to die the way he did. Senseless," said Trenika Jones, the God sister of Kimball.
People are praying for peace in their community. They said enough is enough.
Dozens came together to address the city's crime problem. The vigil was for every person who lost their life to violence this year.
"We need to find another way to solve our problems. Gunning someone down regardless of their age, that was someone's child, someone's heart is breaking because they'll never see that person again and that's not the way to solve anything," said Michelle Burks, who attended the vigil.
"I think the prayer vigil was very important to remind our community first of all to make people aware that we do have an issue with violence in our community, but we also have very good organizations like Neighborhood House that are here to serve. We need more services like that in our community. Places where people can be safe," said Tom Brubaker, who attended the vigil.
People in the community felt it was important to have the event at the Neighborhood House because the building has been around for 80 years. Many consider it a safe haven. They say it's one place that brings about positive change.
"It's a community staple and we just want to bring everybody in this community together to pray for peace, pray to end the violence and support one another. Almost seems like we take three steps forward and then we go four steps back, so for everything that all of our people at Neighborhood House do, I know it's very frustrating disheartening to them, but it's not changing their mission of going forward and helping families in this community," said Amanda Holdsworth, organizer.
Recently, a city-wide summit was held to address the problem. Police said tips from the community are a major factor in solving these violent crimes.
There have been four murders so far this year in Saginaw.
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