Community shares ideas on ending plague of gun violence

Multnomah County

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Leaders and community members in Multnomah County are trying to turn the tide on the region’s rise in gun violence.

Commissioner Susheela Jayapal hosted a panel discussion Friday night focused on finding community solutions. Former gang member Roy Moore spoke to the group about his ongoing work with several organizations to prevent violence.

“I’ve changed my life and I feel like it’s my civic duty to give back,” said Moore. “I understand what it’s like to be in that bed when you have officers asking you questions, you have nurses and doctors asking you questions, when a lot of the time you just need somebody to say ‘what can I do for you?’ It’s a scary moment so that’s where I try to come in and I try to provide support. I advocate for you but most of all I try to get you to make some different decisions.”

Moore said he’s made it his mission to empower other people who have been impacted by the gang lifestyle and gun violence by equipping them with the tools to give back to their community.

“A lot of time, programs can’t reach these kids but we’re right there on the street level aspect being able to be there in those times when activity is going on,” said Moore. “Our street-level team — we’re going to hot spots, we’re showing up to the funerals, we’re at vigils, we’re at the crime scenes, we’re building relationships with the community. Having them present to try and encourage them to do something different.”

In addition to the street outreach, other speakers touched on how environmental improvements, access to parks and even health education can help reduce violence.

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