MOSS POINT, Miss. (WLOX) - In the wake of recent violent crimes, people living in Moss Point are working to raise awareness with the goal of creating a safer city.
Following the shooting death of 19-year-old and the arrest of a 15-year-old in that murder, residents are speaking out, calling for everyone to step up and help put an end to the violence.
“How many more young men have to die until we finally come together as a community to hear and answer the cry for help?” questioned one comment on the WLOX Facebook page.
Another read: “Have you had enough yet? Young people under the age of 30 seem to be Moss Point’s biggest export. We are exporting to prison and exporting to the grave.”
Moss Point resident Isaiah Hayes has a youth outreach program through Jackson County United Way that is attempting to reach children and foster change through mentorship.
“They provide a sense of stability in a child’s life, whether they’re coming from a broken home with a single mother or a single father,” Hayes explained. “That individual, whether it be female or male, may be able to provide a little insight to help develop and mature a young lady or a young man in a way to carry themselves to be a productive citizen in their community.”
Hayes feels that the entire community needs to become more proactive. Moss Point alderman and pastor Sherwood Bradford agrees, saying it’s the duty of the church to keep a close eye on families.
“The pastors need to pastor the whole family. That’s our job,” he said. “We need to get more proactive. We need to be more involved with the homes and we have to pastor the total family, the total situation... We got to go past Sunday. We got to be pastors seven days a week.”
To create change and end the acts of violence, Bradford says it is going to take community leaders, families, and residents working together.
Mayor Mario King and the City of Moss Point will host a town hall on Jan. 26 with the goal of developing a plan to help decrease the amount of violence in the city.