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Monroe nonprofit advocates to help Parkview Apartments

Published: May. 5, 2021 at 7:18 PM CDT
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - A local group is trying to make Parkview Apartments a safer place to live. The nonprofit organization says it’s taking action because the city is not doing enough.

Monroe police data shows 2020 as the deadliest year at Parkview Apartments in the decade. At least nine people were killed at Parkview. Now, the founder of Life Changers of Northeast Louisiana says programs like substance abuse and mental health counseling make the area safer.

South of I-20, Parkview and its residents are stuck in a cycle of violent crime. Life Changers of Northeast Louisiana is working to make a positive change in the neighborhood.

“There’s nothing in Parkview for these people to do to elevate themselves from low income to moderate-income but also to transition the mind frame of people and the children and continue to want to do better. Right now, people are comfortable living poor because they don’t have to strive for anything,” Life Changers president Damian Coleman said.

Coleman wants to change that and end the violence. He created a nonprofit organization that plans to establish programs for people living in the apartment complex. Some of the programs include substance abuse and mental health counseling, alcohol anonymous, neighborhood intervention and crime prevention, and education programs.

“There’s nothing for children to gravitate to but the lifestyle of crime and the lifestyle of violence. There’s nothing to pull them away from seeing what grown people do and mimicking the acts and the routines that they see every day,” Coleman said.

After pitching the plan to city leaders, Cole was told to talk to the owners of the complex, Standard Enterprise. He is still waiting to hear back from them.

City Council member Kema Dawson says the city has given Parkview extra police presence and a district neighborhood watch.

“We just need to make sure that people are actually reporting what they see if they know details about a crime. They need to go ahead and talk to the police and that’s how we can actually help a lot of the crime,” Dawson said.

Even with some additional resources, Coleman wants Parkview to be a top city priority.

“We’re asking that they start focusing on the areas that need the most attention and not just the areas that look beautiful in the city but the ugly parts of it. The people that nobody wants to deal with,” Coleman said.

Life Changers is urging community members to call the mayor, city council, or anyone who can help Parkview residents.

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