Crime victim's advocate offers ways to remove area's 'tightly-wo - KMOV.com

Crime victim's advocate offers ways to remove area's 'tightly-woven web of violence'

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James Clark of Better Family Life speaks on the violence in the St. Louis area. (KMOV) James Clark of Better Family Life speaks on the violence in the St. Louis area. (KMOV)
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

The Grand Avenue Water tower, which overlooks the College Hill neighborhood of Saint Louis, is the tallest free-standing Corinthian column in the world.

Below the tower is where a product of College Hill speaks on the city's crime.

"This is a new and evolving reality. The depth, of the dysfunction, most people don't understand it," said James Clark.

Clark gets it and people know.

News 4 reported, last week, Clark got a call from an 18-year-old man telling Clark he was one of three people shot.

"First, I asked if he had called police. They had not.. I immediately went to their residence. They climbed into the vehicle. I brought them straight to the hospital," added Clark.

The teenager survived.

Clark revealed to News 4, the same young man was one of four found shot to death a week later, inside a home on Balmoral Drive.

"It really just underscores the social condition St. Louis is in right now," added Clark.

The Vice President of Community Outreach for the Better Family Life non-profit believes St. Louis has a dense and tightly-woven web of violence.

Trapped inside, Clark insists, are thousands of young men and women.

"This is a very dysfunctional subculture that is very active in the St. Louis community and every urban core," added Clark.

The activist stresses the problem does not remedy itself.

"We are not Chicago. We aren't Los Angeles. We are not Detroit. Our issue is something we can get our arms around. But, first, we need to do engagement," added Clark.

Clark puts 10 outreach workers in high-crime areas around the city each day. He thinks a noticeable change could be made with more.

"We believe if we could get 50 outreach workers and 25 case managers, St. Louis can come out from under this web and dark cloud," added Clark.

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