Community organizations need funding to help keep Madison safe following uptick in gun violence

MADISON, Wis. — The uptick in recent gun violence is sparking a conversation about the need for more community resources. City leaders have asked the community to step up and join the effort and help community organizations that are already intervening and trying to prevent future violent acts from happening.

“When we talk about violence we also have to talk about the hurt that comes after that,” said Anthony Cooper Sr., the CEO of the Focus Intervention Coalition (FIC). “If something happens, they can’t just be out here to fend for themselves. They have advocates like us and others within the community that can support, uplift and motivate.”

FIC members respond to shootings and the moments afterward to connect the people involved to community resources, whether that’s financial support or mental health support, to try to help put the broken pieces back together.

Several other community groups are working towards the same goal.

Martin Lackey Sr. with LIONS Realty and Investments helps teach troubled teens about wealth building. Lackey said coming from a troubled background himself inspires him to be the mentor for kids that he never had.

“There is a different way. Me coming from prison for five and a half years, I didn’t have any positive role models or any positive people in my life so I made that a purpose when I came out of prison,” Lackey said.

Brian Britt who owns Inspire Barber College helps give jobs and new purpose to troubled youth to put them on a new path.

“Helping them get licensed, helping them start their own careers, and helping them market their money,” Britt said.

These group leaders said their work is effective and critical right now, but said that in order for their organizations to be able to help maintain a safe community, they need the community’s help with funding and leadership.

“There’s a lot of things we can’t prevent but what we can do is intervene and support the people afterwards,” Cooper said.

If you would like to donate to the following organizations or want to help, you can click on the following links:

Focused Interruption Coalition

Inspire Barber College

Lions Realty and Investments