PORTSMOUTH, Va. — A violent shootout in the middle of a Portsmouth apartment complex has led people in the community to step up.
Black Lives Matter 757 brought food to people’s doors, as they caravanned to different neighborhoods, to speak up against gun violence in the city.
The group caravanned to a total of six Portsmouth neighborhoods. They passed out more than 400 hot dogs and free water to the community.
“When you feed people, it changes their lives; they will listen to you,” said BLM 757 member Earl Lewis Junior.
While distributing the food and drinks they struck up conversations.
“To bring them even to the household to say, 'Come on, we’ve got to talk,'” said Lewis.
The group wanted to talk about peace, and stopping gun violence.
“That gun shooting last night was out of control,” said Lewis.
That shooting was caught on camera at the Harbor Square Apartments and those bullets weren't the only ones people have seen in the city.
In Portsmouth, there’s been a 93 percent increase in crime-related deaths, compared to the same time last year.
The Hampton Roads activists want to address the gun violence issue face to face.
Lewis said, “I need the fathers, I need the mothers, I need the uncles, the brothers to talk to those kids.”
One of the many Portsmouth neighborhoods that the group is visiting is Harbor Square Apartments.
BLM 757 President, JaPharii Jones said they want to spread the love, “I know it’s the holiday season. We have COVID-19. We have a food shortage. You know, there is a lot going on and so we just feel like the small gesture will bring some type of unity to the community.”
It turns out these actions are bringing together people of all ages, including younger kids who know that gun violence is an issue.
“I don’t like people shooting. It don’t make me feel safe,” said the children receiving the food.
Even though food might not change much, feeding these children and the community is a small act of kindness that’s aiming to make a positive difference.