By Joshua Rose
Boys & Girls Clubs of Kentuckiana Board Member
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Like many of you, every night I get my children ready for bed. I help them brush their teeth, read them a story and tuck them in. I simply can't imagine having to fear my children being shot by a stray bullet in our own home. But that unfathomable fear is the reality for too many families in our city and was the reality for 7-year-old Dequante Hobbs, Jr. when he was shot in the head in his kitchen on the evening of May 22.
We all ask ourselves why this happened? But the question we should be asking is what can we do to change this cruel reality for children like Dequante. Sadly, it is too late for him, but it is not too late for the thousands of kids like him living in poverty-stricken and violent neighborhoods in our community.
Violent crime is often inflicted by young men who lacked the support and guidance necessary to help them become responsible adults. At the Boys & Girls Clubs of Kentuckiana, our mission is to help disadvantaged youth become responsible, productive and caring citizens. The vast majority of the kids at our clubs live in poverty and 63% come from single parent households. We provide a safe haven and mentorship for over 2,500 youth in our community and programming to build their character and academic success.
Reversing the vicious cycle of violence and poverty must start with the children because it is usually too late once the would-be offenders reach adulthood. As studies show, we can't police or jail the problem away. In contrast, studies reveal that for every $1.00 invested in our club kids, the community will receive an investment return of over $10.00 in savings in government spending, including incarceration and welfare costs.
I challenge you to imagine that Dequante was your loved one and do something to help change the rising tide of violence and poverty in our City. Getting involved with or donating to The Boys & Girls Clubs of Kentuckiana is a great place to start.