Contact: Collette DuValle, 317-373-2391

Student Oriented Program Takes Youth to the Streets To Help Local Homeless

Marion County's Students Against Violence Everywhere (SAVE) program has been actively involved in several community service learning projects. Sponsored locally by the Marion County Health Department, SAVE members most recently teamed with Brian Walls of Tear Down the Walls Ministries and the Doulos Agape Papcinos (D.A.T.) House to sponsor an outreach project for the homeless population in Indianapolis.

Students from the Marion County SAVE Chapter and the Stonybrook Middle School SAVE Chapter attended the event. Health department employees Byron Johnson, Shawna Reed-Wise and Corey Davis participated as chaperones.

The students were divided into three teams with at least two adult leaders. The teams distributed hats, gloves, socks, scarves and food items during their encounters with homeless individuals on the streets of Indianapolis.

Many of the students have expressed interest in being involved in another similar project. "Because this is such a unique opportunity, I am hoping that we will be able to participate with Tear Down the Walls Ministries in this type of outreach as an annual project. It was a great learning experience for the students and the adults," said Johnson, who serves as the local SAVE coordinator.

Since last August, SAVE students have also been involved in working with elementary and middle school-aged students on non-violent means of working through disagreements. Interest and participation in the program continues to grow among students and local schools.

SAVE is a student-initiated program that promotes nonviolence within schools and communities. SAVE provides education about the effects and consequences of violence and helps provide safe activities for students, parents and communities.

For more information about the Marion County SAVE program, contact Byron Johnson at 221-3538.

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