To combat violence, Sen. Herb Kohl makes $500K donation to Boys & Girls Clubs, to extend summer program

MILWAUKEE -- The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee announced on Tuesday, July 21st, thanks to a generous donation, they'll be able to extend their summer program for at least two weeks. It's a gift prompted by a level of violence the city of Milwaukee hasn't seen in years.

There have been 86 homicides in Milwaukee in the first seven months of 2015. This can be compared with 86 homicides during ALL of 2014.

Milwaukee homicide rate

Officials say eight of the people who have lost their lives to gun violence this year are teenagers, ages 17 or younger.

Breanna Eskridge

17-year-old Breanna Eskridge is the third teenager to be shot and killed in Milwaukee in July. 14-year-old Tariq Akbar died after he was shot near N. Lake Drive and Kenilworth after the U.S. Bank Fireworks Show on July 3rd. 13-year-old Giovannie Cameron was fatally shot inside a home near 22nd and Eggert on July 8th.

Additionally, this shooting is the second occurring on Sunday, July 19th to involve a teenage victim. Earlier Sunday, a 13-year-old boy was shot and injured near 19th and Wright.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee officials work to keep kids busy in an effort to keep them safe, and now, they're getting some help.

Usually, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee's summer program ends at the end of July. But thanks to a generous donation, most centers will continue their summer program through mid-August. And at some centers, the summer program will continue through the entire month of August.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee

The only shots on Tuesday, July 21st at the Davis Boys & Girls Club on S. 24th Street in Milwaukee were taken at the pool table.

The facility will be an extended daytime shelter for more than 5,000 kids and teens in Milwaukee -- thanks to a $500,000 donation from former U.S. Senator Herb Kohl.

"There`s an element that`s a connection to all of the things that are happening -- good and bad in Milwaukee, and I think Senator Kohl sees his opportunity to help alleviate some of those problems for the families in Milwaukee," Vincent Lyles, president of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee said.

The gift comes one day after federal, state and local officials announced a new strategy to combat gun violence in Milwaukee.

Chief Flynn, Attorney General Schimel, Mayor Barrett, U.S. Attorney Santelle, District Attorney Chisholm announce new strategy to combat violence

Officials say one step towards preventing that violence is keeping kids from experiencing it firsthand.

"There are changes in the juvenile brain based on exposure to stress and violence. That`s the place we`ve gotta get more involved in intervening and obviously, not just the police department, but social investments," Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn said.

Chief Flynn was joined Monday by Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel, Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm, and U.S. Attorney James Santelle. They talked about a memorandum of understanding as to Milwaukee's gun violence -- which seeks to make sure everyone involved in this fight is on the same page — from police all the way up to federal prosecutors.

Under the agreement, the Mayor's Office is to improve communication between agencies and community groups.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee

Dawn Barnett, the co-executive director of Running Rebels, an organization that works to target Milwaukee's most at-risk, while reaching and impacting both “high at-risk” and “potential at-risk" youth through programs targeting their specific needs and mold them into responsible members of society tells FOX6 News she's eager to see how the new strategy works.

"It`s extremely important that we`re all at the table and we all understand what everyone`s role is," Barnett said.

"No parent should ever face the prospect of having to bury their child because their child is a victim of violence. Yet that`s what we see in this city. We`ll be doing a reach into the community ourselves -- but we want them to contact us also because there are many different ways we can combat this and the more hands we have helping us on this, the more successful we`re going to be," Mayor Barrett said.

In all, 22 Boys & Girls Clubs locations in Milwaukee will be extending their summer program. The program serves young people between the ages of five and 18.

A complete list of Boys & Girls Clubs summer programs -- including ending dates and locations, is as follows:

Club Address Phone Open Until
53rd Street 3618 N. 53rd St. 874-5386 August 14
81st Street 2964 N. 81st St. 852-4085 August 14
Allen-Field 730 W. Lapham Blvd. 902-9230 August 14
Audubon 3300 S. 39th St. 902-7930 August 14
Bethune 1535 N. 35th St. 934-4600 August 14
Bradley Tech 700 S. 4th St. 212-2561 August 14
Brown Street 2029 N. 20th St. 935-3130 August 14
Brown Deer 8060 N. 60th St. 371-6773 July 24
Carson 4920 W. Capitol Dr. 393-4820 August 14
Carver 1900 N. 1st St. 267-0527 August 14
Cass Street 1647 N. Cass St. 212-2787 August 14
Clarke Street 2816 W. Clarke St. 267-1039 August 14
Daniels- Mardak 4834 N. 35th St. 578-1228 August 28
Davis 1975 S. 24th St. 383-2650 August 28
Engleburg 5100 N. 91St St. 616-5657 August 14
Fitzsimonds 3400 W. North Ave. 874-0269 August 28
Fratney 3255 N. Fratney St. 267-1154 August 14
Gaenslen 1250 E. Burleigh St 267-5781 August 14
Grantosa 4850 N. 82nd St. 393-4436 August 14
Hadfield 733 Linden St. 262-970-1578 July 24
Hayes 971 West Windlake Ave. 902-7250 August 14
Keefe Avenue 1618 W. Keefe Ave. 267-4880 July 31
LaFollette 3239 N. 9th St. 267-5345 August 14
LaVarnway 2739 N. 15th St. 372-6810 August 28
Lincoln 1817 W. Lincoln Ave. 902-9777 August 14
Madison 8135 W. Florist Ave. 393-6187 August 14
Maple Tree 6644 N. 107th St. 578-5146 July 31
Mary Ryan 3000 N. Sherman Blvd. 447-5333 August 28
Mitchell 1728 S. 23rd St. 852-4560 August 14
MLK 3275 N. 3rd St. 267-1598 August 14
North Division 1011 W. Center St. 267-5098 August 14
Pieper Hillside 611 W. Cherry Street 291-0347 August 28
Pierce 2765 N. Fratney St. 267-4444 August 14
Sherman 5110 W. Locust St. 874-5809 August 14
Siefert 1547 N. 14th St. 933-3947 August 14
Townsend 3360 N. Sherman Blvd. 874-5985 August 14
Urban Day 3782 N. 12th St. 263-2781 EXT 1268 August 14
Washington 2525 N. Sherman Blvd. 875-6100 August 14
Wedgewood Park 6506 W. Warnimont Ave. 546-7277 (7276 ALT) August 14
Zablocki 1016 W. Oklahoma Ave. 294-2305 August 14

CLICK HERE to learn more about the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee

CLICK HERE to learn more about Running Rebels

CLICK HERE to read the entire memorandum of agreement on combatting gun violence