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East Westwood meeting seeks positive solutions to neighborhood's gun violence problem

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Posted at 10:47 PM, Jul 26, 2021

CINCINNATI — Residents of East Westwood met Monday night to brainstorm ideas to end the violence in the neighborhood and make it a safer place.

“It’s time to stop the violence that’s killing our children,” said Lisa Hyde-Miller, community relations coordinator for the Villages of Roll Hill.

The meeting comes a little more than a month after a 6-year-old and 8-year-old were shot in the vicinity of McHenry and Cavanaugh avenues in Westwood near Reem Markets. It offered a chance for the Westwood Improvement Association, the East Westwood Community Council, and Cincinnati police to come together to discuss solutions to the violence affecting the neighborhood.

“Movement is movement, but progress grants hope,” East Westwood Community Council president Rodney Christian said. “That’s why we have to start letting people know they can be used.”

Cincinnati City Council member Jan-Michele Lemon Kearney was there to listen as residents voiced their frustrations.

“They haven’t given up on their community,” she said. “They’re committed to making this a safe place. That’s very encouraging.”

With the focus on solutions to the ongoing issue, some mentioned The Villages of Roll Hill doesn’t have a recreation center.

“The idle mind is the devil’s workship,” said Lisa Hyde-Miller. “We have to give them something to do.”

She’s committed more than two decades of her life to making a positive change in the community.

“We can reclaim our community child by child, family by family, neighborhood by neighborhood,” she said.

Kearney said she’s going to make sure that the recreation center happens.

“City council is going to be committed to that,” she said. “We need that recreation center. We need it for our young people.”

Residents are also excited at the prospect of a job resource center coming to the area – which will teach resume writing, interview preparation and job skills. Even a hair salon/barber to help with appearance for job interviews.

“Five or 10 years down the road, we can say, ‘Man, I’m glad we reacted,’ or we can say, ‘It was just another meeting,’” Christian said. “We have to keep the movement going.”