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Community activist working with youth to combat gun violence

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Sometimes the biggest thing that can make a difference in someone’s life is another option.

“If they don’t have an outlet to release it, then we start to see what we’re seeing in our city right now, it’s just all-out war,” said Kareem Hines with New Breed of Youth.

Hines started the New B.O.Y organization for that reason.

“We’re moving them from what they think is normal, putting them in an uncomfortable situation, but just exposing them to a different environment than what they’re use to. Because, those same conversations I can have with a young man here, they change when I can take them from their environment, they change. Their responses change when I can put them in a different environment,” Hines said.

It’s an opportunity to get guns out of kids hands and get them off the streets. It gives kids like 15 year old Michael, another chance at life.

“We got some 15 year old’s that are dying, so New B.O.Y gives us father figures, they get you in the right position, keep you focused,” Michael said.

Lt. Shane Foley with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department says, community involvement can have a positive impact on crime rates.

“That’s what we want. We don’t want to be involved. We don’t want to lock people up. Because, when there’s a homicide and we solve that case, there’s no celebration that takes place. We’re not excited that we have a homicide arrest because that means there’s a person who has lost there life, and there’s another person who is going to be off the streets away from their families and away from being a person who contributes to society for many many years,” Lt. Foley said.

Hines says being able to put a ball in their hands or giving them something to grab their interests, allows the kids to feel validated by something other than the streets.

“Our young people right now, in their eyes, what success is, what clout is, is guns. How big my gun is, how big of a clip I can attach to my gun, how I can turn a basic gun into an automatic gun by putting a switch on it. Until we balance that with something, a martial arts class, a boxing class, a sports program, we have to give them an outlet,” Hines said.

Michael says it feels good to be heading the right way and it’s all because of Hines and the New B.O.Y organization.

“It’s been great, it changed my lifestyle, it changed who I am, it made me a better person,” said Michael.