SAVANNAH, Ga (WSAV) – It’s something law enforcement have said can help make an impact on public safety here in Savannah. With the help of one of the city’s largest mentoring programs, it could soon become a reality.
The Men of the Mighty Fortress held a conference Saturday,graduating a group of mentees and spreading an important message.
“One, Avoid violence, Two avoid gangs, and thirdly make intelligent choices,” says Deacon Joseph Ketchup.
Those are the three actions the men of the mighty fortress ask of Savannah youth. The mentoring program takes in youth from ages 10 and 21.
“They’re are some serious problems in our neighborhood, there’s not funding for government agencies to do it, so as a church we are getting involved and we’re not talking, we’re tackling one of the most challenging problems there is not just in Savannah, nationwide,” says Deacon Ketchup who’s with St. John Baptist Church the church that hosts the mentoring program.
And the problem of violent crime impacts more than just the handful of people involved.
“When they go to jail, the mom goes to jail, the dad, anyone connected to them go to jail,” says Michelle Lovett who’s son is serving a 20 year sentence.
Lovett heard about the anti gang conference through another mentoring group in Savannah. She’s here because her son has been in prison for more than a decade now.
“Something that could have been avoided if he simply would have stopped to think about what he was doing,” Lovett adds.
She sits with her godson. He like the other hundreds before him have what deacon Joseph Ketchup says is an opportunity to be a part of something positive and life changing.
“Jaden is ten years old and he’s young but he sees things and he hears so him being exposed to the good things and the warnings, preferably will keep him on the right track.”