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Civic league in Norfolk working to combat crime, foster stronger community

Neighborhoods like Olde Huntersville are proactively creating and implementing solutions to build healthier communities.

NORFOLK, Va. — In wake of a deadly shooting on Granby Street over the weekend, Norfolk citizens beyond downtown are looking to make their streets safer. 

Olde Huntersville in Norfolk surfaced again in the news last week for a shooting on Fremont Street.

This week, the Norfolk Police Department said the victim, 21-year-old Faizon Moore, died at the hospital. There is no still no word on a suspect.

RELATED: Man dies, days after being shot on Fremont Street in Norfolk

"I'm really tired of hearing all this, shooting one another in Huntersville," said Felicia Williams, a resident who spoke with 13News Now at the scene of the shooting on March 15.

Neighbors, such as Williams, are no strangers to scenes like that one. And Olde Huntersville Civic League President Beatrice Garvin-Thompson recognizes that.

"What we're trying to do is to build a stronger, healthier, more vibrant and safer community," said Garvin-Thompson.

She said the group has made strides in developing a long-term community strategic plan, building a housing plan book, establishing ambassadors and teaming up with stakeholders, like the area businesses.

However, there is more that needs to be done, "which means everyone needs to be at the table."

She is specifically calling on landlords and investors to be part of the conversation.

Moreover, Garvin-Thompson said the violence in her neighborhood has gotten to a point in which they can pinpoint blocks or streets prone to crime.

"We want to move [violence] out."

She said a focus, moving forward, will be engaging with neighbors in those areas.

Additionally, born from the civic league is a new nonprofit group called the Olde Huntersville Empowerment Coalition.

"It's not dedicated to brick and mortar, alright, but it's dedicated to people building," she added. That people building would include mentorship and trade skill education. 

Garvin-Thompson believes that, at this point, no neighborhood is immune to crime.

"That means we all need to join hands, we need to all to come together and here again, dialogue is good, because it all begins with dialogue, but then we have to move it into action."

The Olde Huntersville Civic League meets every second Tuesday of the month. For more information about the organization, visit its Facebook page.

Garvin-Thompson said that if you are not comfortable attending meetings, you can also practice things as simple as turning on your porch light, planting a flower or picking up litter that is not yours to improve your own community.

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