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Pivot program receives $100K grant to help reduce violent crime

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Helping young people stay safe and off the streets — that’s what city officials along with the program Pivot hope to do. The program recently received a $100,000 grant as part of Mayor Joe Hogsett’s violence reduction plan.

The Pivot program at the Boys and Girls Club is part of the city’s new push to cut violent crime, and it’s getting $100,000 to make it work.

“These programs cost money, so in order for us to service these young men and women, we need those dollars,” said Hogsett.

Pivot targets young men, ages 16-24, who are jobless and not in school — the people at highest risk of committing a crime, or becoming a victim of one.

“We want to make sure that we’re doing everything we can as a city and putting resources in the opportunity to have people say no to bad decisions and criminal activity before it happens,” said Hogsett.

According to the director of the Re-engagement Center, Erik Davenport, the kids could be playing pool or just hanging around and that’s when someone from the Boys and Girls Club will approach them and build trust.

“What are your goals? What are your aspirations? … What are you good at? What do you like to do? Because a lot of times, you may be good at a job you don’t even know exist, because you haven’t been exposed to that,” Davenport said.

Davenport says it’s crucial to understand what young people think and help them reach their untapped potential, including an education or job training. The grant will expand its programming and work with the Office of Public Health and Safety to help the young men stay on track.

“On a basketball court, a foul can turn into a shooting. … It’s something very simple. So, having conversations, having these programs, are very important for the young men and women in this community. I can’t stress (it) enough,” Davenport said.

The Boys and Girls Club says they continue to depend on donations from the community to keep their programs going.

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