Organization gives teens and young adults a safe place to go

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. -- Last weekend, two kids were shot and injured in Benton Harbor. A 12-year-old girl was shot by a stray bullet Friday and a boy was shot Saturday night at Empire and Broadway. One local organization is doing everything it can to combat teen violence in the area.

Yvonne Hester, the director of the Benton Harbor Streets Ministry, says she sees the violence and crime a well as the deeper issues plaguing the community that may be causing kids to lash out.

"My biggest concern is they are killing each other," said Hester.

Hester has dedicated her life to saving lives.

"We have a lot of brokenness [sic]. We have a lot of bitterness. We have so much anger in our kids," said Hester.

Hester combats those things with education, guidance and support.

"We look at our community, we see a lot of torn down houses, but after a while, our demeanor takes on our surrounding," said Hester.

Hester says there are so many issues rooted deep in the community that need to be addressed.

"Why do we have so much crime? Why do we have such a high rate of teen pregnancy why do we have high rate of HIV, homelessness, hunger-kids going to bed hungry?" said Hester.

For kids and young adults in need of anything from food to education and guidance, the doors to Benton Harbor Streets Ministry are always open.

"We have not had any problems, we have not had any fights, they come in they've been respectful," said Hester.

No matter what's going on the streets, Hester says this is a safe place.


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