ST. LOUIS ( -- Better Family Life's gun violence de-escalation program have now been operating for three years and about 130 cases have been resolved where various sides of a conflict come together to talk it out.

"When we reach a stalemate, that is frustrating but the light at the end of the tunnel is we can get this person out of town," James Clark with Better Family Life said.

Clark said since the program to curb violence began, there have been 30 cases where his organization has helped people start over, sometimes hundreds of miles away.

One woman was on the road Friday with her family of seven, leaving out of St. Louis. She said her sons are involved in a situation where she fears for their lives so Better Family Life is helping the family get set up in another state.

"If this individual does not leave town, there will be further shootings and retaliation and will continue to spiral," Clark said. "One of my favorite quotes comes from a mother who says you all helped my son escape death."

Reverend Carl Smith is a former St. Louis police officer and is currently a lead mediator for the deescalation program. 

"When it gets to gun violence there's anger, there's hatred and it's very emotional," Smith said. "It's a powder keg"

Copyright 2020 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

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