Columbus, Ohio – A community initiative has been launched in Columbus, Ohio, to reduce the number of homicides in the city to under 100 in 2024. The effort aims to address the rising violence in the city by gathering stakeholders, utilizing data, and pushing for community change. The initiative was sparked by a Facebook Live video by Malissa Thomas-St. Clair, the founder of Mothers of Murdered Columbus Children, in which she expressed her enthusiasm for the possibility of fewer than 100 homicides in the city in 2024.
In 2023, Columbus experienced 149 homicides, making it the third-deadliest year in the city’s history. The initiative, spearheaded by Mothers of Murdered Columbus Children, seeks to collaborate with Columbus police in using data to determine areas in the city to focus resources on in order to reduce and potentially prevent homicides. The goal is to address the root causes of violence and provide support to families and communities impacted by the violence.
Community leaders and stakeholders gathered at Polaris Fashion Place to launch the effort, emphasizing the importance of coming together to address the issue of violence in the city. The initiative aims to engage the community in authentic conversations and work towards saving lives. Various speakers, including City Councilmember Emanuel Remy and state Rep. Dontavius Jarrells, expressed their support for the initiative and emphasized the need for collective action to address the underlying issues contributing to violence in the city.
The founder of We are Linden, Ralph Carter, stressed the importance of community involvement in standing up against violence, emphasizing the need for collective action to address the issue. Apostle Niki Hampton emphasized the urgency of taking tangible actions to support the initiative, calling for a community-wide effort.
The goal of the initiative is to not only reduce the number of homicides in the city but also to address the underlying issues that contribute to violence. While the initial target is to bring the city’s homicide rate under 100, the group acknowledges that the pain of families who have lost someone to violence cannot be discounted. The ongoing goal is to continue working towards reducing violence in the city and addressing the underlying social and economic factors contributing to the issue.