A group of social service agencies and churches in the Rankin area are hosting a community outreach event this weekend to "take back our streets."
Ralonda Robertson and Calvin Murphy of the Rankin Christian Center said Mon Valley residents have grown weary of the constant violence. Mr. Murphy noted that a lot of nonprofits and religious organizations want to help, but they need to work together. "Everyone wants to do their own thing, but it's not working," he said.
Ms. Robertson said the United Front Praise & Faith Community Day, spearheaded by the Christian center and Emmanuel Baptist Church in Rankin, will be the "first of many" across the Mon Valley. She said she hopes the events foster unity in an area that has struggled economically and with drugs and violence.
It's been a particularly bloody year in Allegheny County: As of last week, 74 homicides had been committed in the county since January, compared with 76 in all of 2011, according to the medical examiner.
Mr. Murphy said he hopes to use the event to "bridge the gap" between young people and senior citizens and said he wants to get back to "a community raising our children, on all generational levels," while working with business and community partners.
He said the event will present a unified front to show children and adults in the Mon Valley that there are organizations that care about supporting education, ending violence and helping families.
Ms. Robertson said sponsors for the event include UPMC, Penn State Extension, Allegheny County Housing Authority, Rankin police and United Healthcare. The event will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday in the Hawkins Village complex, 500 Kenmawr Ave. A mile-long "walk of faith" will be the opening activity of the day, beginning at 11 a.m., followed by basketball and football clinics, music by disc jockeys, performances, prizes, raffles and vendors.
Information: 412-271-8313 ext. 2688, or 412-403-7596.
Annie Siebert: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1613. Twitter: @AnnieSiebert.