Residents in Forsyth County are speaking out about an increase in gun violence in the community, especially among youth. They're asking county commissioners to allocate federal COVID relief funding to local organizations to help address the issue.
Representatives from The Winston-Salem Women's Gun Violence Prevention Team and several other community-led groups voiced their concerns over the fatal shooting at Mount Tabor High School. They addressed the need for equitable access to mental health services in underserved communities and asked for funding for crime intervention and prevention programs in neighborhoods that have been impacted.
One resident also gave a detailed rundown of recent shootings in the county.
It was an emotional time at the podium for Velma Terry of Winston-Salem. On Valentine's Day, her son Te'ore was found dead in a local parking lot with a gunshot wound.
“We need to stop the violence. So you won't have another mother come up here and try to hold on to another day," says Terry. "So if you don't want to feel what I feel, please give these people, the organizations the money that they are asking for.”
Forsyth County is expected to receive $74 million in aid from the American Rescue Plan and around $56 million has yet to be allocated. The county just wrapped up accepting applications for its first round of funding.
As of Thursday, there have been 24 homicides in Winston-Salem.
Follow WFDD's Keri Brown on Twitter @kerib_news