LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Addressing the ills that plague metro youth - that's the goal of nonprofit Family First USA, which held their first Breaking the Cycle event on Saturday.
The first meet-up was Saturday afternoon at City Church International in the 1100 block of South 26th Street.
"Growing up poor in the West End of Louisville means a radically different trajectory for its residents - especially its children," the nonprofit said in a statement.
In a press release, the Family First said children who grow up in West Louisville are nine times more likely not to finish high school, three times as likely to experience or be involved in gang activity, twice as likely to live in poverty and are likely to live 12 years fewer than their peers.
That's all part of the cycle Family First USA wants to break.
"I did 26 and a half years in prison, and all that time I saw him [my son] three times. And when I came out, I said I gotta go get my son. I gotta show him how to break the cycle," Family First USA President Tod Moore-Baker said.
Moore-Baker and Family First USA want to encourage positive thinking and excellence in Louisville's youth by tackling the issues head-on.
The nonprofit said they'll hold events like Saturday's every 35 to 45 days.
Each month, an event will be held at a "Safe Place" facility. During events, Family First provides meals, motivational speakers, occupational therapy for future employment and mentoring sessions - many of the lessons coming from adults who have suffered and experienced the cycle themselves.
The Family First USA Dream Center, the group's empowerment center, is set to be built in the 3500 block of Muhammad Ali.
For more information, the Family First USA website is here.