MILWAUKEE — With violence in Milwaukee increasing, local faith leaders say the time is now to reach people and leave them with the message of hope.
"We have to do it today. We're in a crisis," said Pastor Donna Childs, Tabernacle Community Baptist Church.
Every Sunday, Childs delivers a message to a packed room at Tabernacle Community Baptist Church, but Wednesday in an empty church, she spoke about the pain the community feels.
"We've seen a lot in the last 10 years, especially in the decrease of morals and values and the increase in crime," Childs said.
Milwaukee is on pace for another record year in homicides. This past weekend, three people were killed and 19 hurt in 20 shootings across the city, including one murder less than a mile from the church. It's the church Childs grew up in, and now leads.
She believes the church is a vital tool in the fight against violence.
"What a better place than the church to be the ones to step up at this point and to reach out," she said.
TMJ4's Ubah Ali asked Childs how important is it for the younger generation to hear this message of hope? She said it's ultimately key.
"Our goal is to really start young with teaching them how to respond. How to deal with anger, how to deal with grieve," Childs added.
Utilizing hope and practical solutions, Childs said the church provides grief sessions to allow people a safe space to do it and equipping people with different tools.
"I'm not responding with a gun, but I've been given tools by the church," Childs stated. "We can begin to make an impact. It won't happen overnight, but if we can impact one person or even two, it definitely will assist us in what's going on in Milwaukee."