SAVANNAH, Ga (WSAV) – Savannah Mayor Van Johnson responded to recent violent activity in the area, and he said he has plans to help with violence within the community.

“We’re not going to be satisfied until we have a year with zero crime in the community,” Mayor Johnson said. “Although it may be aspirational, we have a responsibility to work towards that.”

He said his goal is to stop violence and promote peace. He went on saying this effort will take multiple approaches. One approach lies in the hands of the people who live in the area.

“If we all take on the role as peacebuilders — I’m not everywhere, police aren’t everywhere, but we are everywhere,” Mayor Johnson said. “We can intervene and sometimes diffuse these types of situations.”

Another effort toward a ‘no violence community’ is set to happen in just 2 weeks.

Mayor Johnson told us a ‘welcome home’ event for people who’ve had run-ins with the justice system will help by getting them back on their feet.

“There are people that return home from jails and prisons every day back home,” he said. “Fulton County has the most and Chatham has the second most. Part of my vision was that when people come home, we should welcome them home.”

He added that this event will help get those individuals connected with the community.

“Let’s reconnect you in a way that makes you successful,” said Mayor Johnson. “Let’s connect you with your family, let’s connect you with employment, and let’s connect you with housing. We know that in order for you to be successful, you need these things.”

Following this, he told us we all should welcome  “home” neighbors with open arms.  

“We don’t forever want to chastise them for what they’ve done,” He concluded. “We want to help them be successful mothers, fathers, wives, husbands, sons and daughters. We want them to be gainfully employed. If we don’t, people go back to what they know.”

The welcome home event will be held Oct. 18 from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Savannah Civic Center.