"There's got to be action:" Faith leaders being trained to prevent violence like we saw in Sherman Park

MILWAUKEE -- After the unrest in Milwaukee's Sherman Park neighborhood on the heels of the fatal shooting of 23-year-old Sylville Smith by a Milwaukee police officer near 44th and Auer on August 13th, the faith-based community has been credited with helping to return calm to the area -- through prayer and outreach. The goal now is to bring trained faith-based leaders to the neighborhood long-term.

The faith community stepped up after arson fires, looting and rioting in the Sherman Park neighborhood in the hours after the fatal shooting of Sylville Smith.

Unrest in Milwaukee

What remains after unrest near Sherman & Auer in Milwaukee

What remains after unrest near Sherman & Auer in Milwaukee

"Where there is a chaotic situation, we bring peace and really try to calm it down," Pastor Richard Schwoegler said.

Schwoegler said faith leaders are now focused on a lasting impact in the neighborhood.

Pastor Richard Schwoegler

"I`ve prayed already that there is going to be a change in the city of Milwaukee, and we have to go out and do it now. There`s got to be action -- and that`s what this is all about," Schwoegler said.

Schwoegler said the shooting death of Sylville Smith has led him to work to get faith leaders connected to Milwaukee's young people in a hands-on way.

"Did anyone reach out to this kid? Is there a process that can happen now where we can reach kids at this young age and help them change their ways?" Schwoegler said.

Schwoegler has been working with Billy Graham Evangelistic Ministries and "Adopt-A-Neighborhood" to train faith leaders on how to respond after situations like what happened in Milwaukee's Sherman Park neighborhood. Schwoegler said the key is to reach people before there's violence.

"That what this training is about -- giving churches a strategic plan to go out and do something. They are building relationships with people. They are looking for the root causes of what`s going wrong in their lives and empowering them," Schwoegler said.

So far, those with about 30 to 40 churches hit the streets each weekend to see what kind of initiatives may be needed.

"They could need a resume. They could need to help with them getting a driver`s license back," Schwoegler said.

There are two upcoming training sessions set for Friday, September 9th and Saturday, September 10th. Those with churches from all faiths are invited to attend.

The training sessions will be held at Parklawn Assembly of God at 3725 Sherman Boulevard.

Friday's session takes place from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. and focuses on "Adopt-A-Neighborhood" training.

Saturday's session takes place from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. and focuses on "Sharing Hope in Crisis."

CLICK HERE to learn much more about these upcoming training sessions.

CLICK HERE to access a "Community Healing Integrative Partnership Flowchart," which showcases how the "Adopt-A-Neighborhood" program works.

CLICK HERE for a pie chart, showing how the "Community Healing Integrative Partnership" works, involving the community, faith-based organizations, non-profits and the private sector, and government, including the police.