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.
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:
|3618 N. 53rd St.
|2964 N. 81st St.
|730 W. Lapham Blvd.
|3300 S. 39th St.
|1535 N. 35th St.
|700 S. 4th St.
|2029 N. 20th St.
|8060 N. 60th St.
|4920 W. Capitol Dr.
|1900 N. 1st St.
|1647 N. Cass St.
|2816 W. Clarke St.
|4834 N. 35th St.
|1975 S. 24th St.
|5100 N. 91St St.
|3400 W. North Ave.
|3255 N. Fratney St.
|1250 E. Burleigh St
|4850 N. 82nd St.
|733 Linden St.
|971 West Windlake Ave.
|1618 W. Keefe Ave.
|3239 N. 9th St.
|2739 N. 15th St.
|1817 W. Lincoln Ave.
|8135 W. Florist Ave.
|6644 N. 107th St.
|3000 N. Sherman Blvd.
|1728 S. 23rd St.
|3275 N. 3rd St.
|1011 W. Center St.
|611 W. Cherry Street
|2765 N. Fratney St.
|5110 W. Locust St.
|1547 N. 14th St.
|3360 N. Sherman Blvd.
|3782 N. 12th St.
|263-2781 EXT 1268
|2525 N. Sherman Blvd.
|6506 W. Warnimont Ave.
|546-7277 (7276 ALT)
|1016 W. Oklahoma Ave.
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