MILWAUKEE — Gun violence has ripped through the city of Milwaukee. Just this week four teens were shot and community members are trying to get ahead of it to save lives.
Community organizations say there are ways to help, but it takes a collective effort to see change.
When we met Andre Ellis, the founder of 'We Got This' he was doing what he normally does, empowering young men in his program.
"Imagine if somebody took them and showed them a better way. I won't blame the children," Ellis said.
The program started with young boys cleaning the neighborhood, learning about gardening and being introduced to positive role models.
When we asked him about the recent gun violence he said, the lack of services in the community and within the households are contributing factors impacting many.
"As long as there's no resources in the house, we're going to have bloodshed in the streets," Ellis said. "As long as people have to leave home angry, and they already have a gun in their pocket, they're going to shoot the next person that makes them mad."
According to the Brady Campaign, more than 500,000 guns were sold in Wisconsin in 2020, a 61% increase from 2019.
Brady Campaign Midwest Program Manager Annelise Dickman said accountability is needed coupled with stricter laws.
"Obviously, we advocate for stronger state policies like Universal background checks would help," Dickman said.
"Guns are easy to get. The gun laws need to be looked at again," Ellis added.
Beyond that, Ellis said he wants to mentor these young men to show them guns don't solve everything.
"When the young men come and get their questions answered they usually go where the map guides," Ellis said.
His greatest hope getting to the young men at any point in their lives.