BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD)- One group of Baton Rouge residents are dedicating time to prevent crime in their own neighborhood.
The Street Team is now doubling its outreach after Baton Rouge broke records in homicides and overdoses in 2021.
Each member of the Street Team shares a similar story, losing a loved one to violence.
“I lost a best friend of mine in 2009 surrounded by a whole bunch of violent death,” said Danna Winbush, Street Team, High-Risk Interventionist for the Street Team. “[The Street Team] teaches conflict resolution, it’s a step up from your guidance counselor.”
The Street Team is a trained group of residents from high crime neighborhoods. They work with Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome’s Office. The team visits the 70802 and 70805 zip codes to talk with their neighbors’.
With Baton Rouge breaking last year’s records in crime, they are committed to putting in extra hours if that means they can help save a life.
Winbush joined the Street Team to prevent others from feeling her loss.
“Over the course of my life since high school I lost a total of 40 people I come in contact with and that’s sad,” she said.
These heroes understand firsthand what the residents are going through. This allows neighbors to feel comfortable speaking with legal advocates and public safety officers.
“When we go out and we interact with these community members we actually get to hear their story,” said Josie Alexander, Program Coordinator for the Street Team. “The community is deprived of a lot of the resources they need.”
Winbush says part of reducing crime is providing and getting North Baton Rouge the proper health, financial and educational resources. She says if a resource like the street team existed before, her best friend might be living today.
The Street Team was created late this summer. Since then they have developed relationships with over 1700 families. They hope to expand to other areas impacted by violence.