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Digger Phelps continues campaign to stop youth violence in South Bend

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Just days after two teens were shot in downtown South Bend, Digger Phelps continued his campaign to stop youth violence with his second town hall meeting.

The meeting focused on trying to stop problems before they start, which could come in the form of bolstering existing out-reach programs.

Although this meeting did not have as many people packed inside the new Kroc Center auditorium, the folks who did fill those seats are already impacting the community with their outreach programs.So, the goal of the Wednesday meeting was to help those programs expand their reach.

Many of the programs talked about at the meeting focused on troubled teens and dropouts. One of those programs, The Crossing, goes out and recruits dropouts right off the streets. The state- accredited program allows teens to get their diplomas, while also getting the students back on track with life coaching and career opportunities.

During the meeting, it was clear that Phelps was calling on the community to help give more support to programs just like 'The Crossing'.

 

Rob Staley, who helps run the alternative program, says with budget constraints across South Bend Community Schools, it needs that community support more than ever. Mainly because the three campus around Michiana are all funded through the school corporations.

 

"It's extremely important. We are not just talking about education and jobs, we're talking about life and death. It takes it to a whole new level when you see kids shot on the street. It's the very reason we showed up in South Bend five years ago," said Staley.

Phelps said the 'The Crossing' and other programs like it are showing struggling kids, "there's still a way to win in the game of life".

Phelps said that now the task is to recruit people who can help connect South Bend's struggling kids and families with the right resources.

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