SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Trying to curb gang violence was the reason hundreds of concerned families gathered Saturday afternoon at Springfield’s Magazine Park in the Old Hill neighborhood. They shared their concerns with 22News.
The banners overlooking their daylong gathering told the story of their aspirations to help find a solution to the violence that’s taken so many young lives in Springfield’s poorer neighborhoods.
Some of those who came to Magazine Park had earlier in the day participated in a march to City Hall, where they called for an end to the violence.
“I think we have to solve the problems that exist. But If we work together we can decrease school drop outs, decrease teen pregnancy and decrease violence as well,” said Pastor Elsie Sanchez of the Odres Nuevos Ministry.
Some of the parents 22News spoke with saw this event as offering a safe haven to the neighborhood that’s experienced so much tension and uncertainty during the past few months.
“I came down here because I know it would be a community event for my son to come and play and be a safe place to come to the bounce house, face painting and to play on the swings, everything,” said Camille Holmes of Springfield.
Social activist groups got across their messages as neighbors gathered for a common cause: To rid their neighborhoods of the influences that endangers the future of their children, the next generation of teenagers.