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Local nonprofit uses shoes to help youth of Milwaukee as homicide count rises

Posted at 6:24 PM, Feb 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-14 19:24:54-05

MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee has seen several children fall victim to this year's homicide count.

The news is devastating to JaCarrie Carr whose nonprofit aims to give kids confidence heading into the real world.

In a room filled with shoes, Carr sees opportunity.

His non-profit, JaCarrie Kicks for Kids, refurbishes shoes to give to kids, instilling confidence as students return to class.

“Before school starts, we would give kids book bags with supplies, free haircuts and hairdos and they would get a brand-new pair of shoes so they can go back to school focused on their education instead of being bullied and teased for what they don’t have,” Carr said.

Add scholarships, a new facility and after school programming, the nonprofit is evolving at a time Carr said it's much needed.

“These kids nowadays, they’re just going through some things in my life,” Carr said.

One example: Already this year, Samuel Clemens School has seen two of its own lost to homicides.

According to Milwaukee Police, of this year’s 32 homicide victims, four were under the age of 18.

Nonetheless, Carr keeps going, hoping to change lives two feet at a time.

When speaking with TMJ4 News, Carr was asked how the average person can make an impact, helping children maximize their potential while limiting their chances of falling victim of crimes or into the system.

“You’d be surprised at how many of these kids want somebody to ask them how was their day. Why are you doing this? Can I help you?” Carr said. “Go talk to these kids. Take these kids to a Bucks game. Place them one on one at the gym. Figure out what these kids like.”

Carr says he understands circumstances around the deaths of underage victims are often not up to the victims themselves.

He said mentoring and being an outlet for the kids could be the difference to save a life.

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