In an effort to help reduce youth violence, concerned citizens are calling on Erie County Council to help obtain funds for a summer job program.
Bishop Dwayne Brock, who helped spearhead the plan, is seeking $1.3 million to get the program started, which includes $1 million from Erie County Council. The funds are expected create an estimated 850 jobs.
"As you know this winter, there's been a lot of violence, a lot of shootings, and the summer time hasn't even come yet," said Bishop Brock. "We believe that we need a comprehensive summer job plan that's going to occupy our young people with something to do in the positive means and teach them work ethic."
The group is calling on Erie County Councilman Andre Horton to help out with their cause.
"I think that everybody I've spoken with seems to express a willingness," said Horton. "I think it's now a matter of filling in the specifics."
The group is hoping the other $300,000 will come from the Erie Community Foundation, which they marched to in protest on Monday. Bishop Brock says he reached out to the organization for help, but he didn't receive a reply. The Erie Community Foundation says they did in fact reach out to Bishop Brock and invited him to a meeting last week.
"I called him five minutes before the meeting to remind him about the meeting," said George Espy of the Erie Community Foundation. "He said at the time he was in another meeting and he would get back to me. This (the march) is how he got back to me."
Bishop Brock says that is not the case.
"As far as I'm concerned, there was some disingenuous comments that were made by certain individuals from Erie Community Foundation," said Bishop Brock. "We're going to have a private meeting in an undisclosed area to discuss the disingenuous comments that were made, and that's all I have to say about that at this point."